the list of geographical coordinates of points defining the outer limit of the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone of the Republic of Croatia hrv_mzn55_2005Download mzn55Download Although the creation of the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (Zaštićeni ekološko-ribolovni pojas, ZERP in Croatian) by Croatia is justified as a fisheries resources protection measure, its scope goes even further. There are interferences with border disputes and rhetorical nationalism is creating serious obstacles to the conclusion of technical agreements. The question of the ZERP has become a priority issue in the negotiations for the accession of Croatia to the European Union.The 1994 Croatian Maritime Code had already provided for the establishment of broad jurisdiction. The ZERP was created on the initiative of the Croatian Peasant Party, which was part of the government coalition in 2003.The decision to create the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (see Annex II) was published on 3 October 2003 under the Government of Ivica Račan. It entered into force a year later, but excluded the EU Member States from its scope of application. Since 1 January 2008 the zone has been fully in force, even for EU Member States. With the creation of the ZERP, Croatia extended its jurisdiction to the , with 23 870 km2, beyond its waters (31 757 km²).The boundaries of the ZERP go beyond Croatian . They were established according to the Treaty concluded in 1968 between Italy and the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and the Treaty concluded in 2001 between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. According to the 1968 Treaty, the ZERP would reach the Italian/Croatian halfway line on the bed of the in the Adriatic. In principle, the ZERP should guarantee all countries the freedom of navigation and overflight and the freedom to lay cables and . For fisheries, the ZERP system would provide for the conclusion of agreements with other states to the remainder of the total allowable catch, which would be set in order to preserve living resources. The ZERP would allow the Croatian authorities to exercise powers in relation to protecting a vulnerable and the exploitation of fisheries resources.Even though the allows for the extension of maritime jurisdictions, Croatia's pretensions go beyond the Community acquis and raise considerable problems with resource management and fisheries monitoring. At the time of writing this note there have not been many incidents inside the ZERP. On 3 January 2008 the Croatian navy intercepted an Italian trawler with three fishermen and it was taken to the port of Vis. In fact, it appears that this incident was not directly related to the ZERP as the Italian trawler was reportedly inspected in Croatian territorial waters. On 6 February 2008 the Turkish cargo UND Adriyatik caught fire right on the border of the ZERP. This incident was seen in Croatia as being a test of the effectiveness of the ZERP.Slovenia and Italy both see the creation of the ZERP as an…

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