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EU Aquaculture Assistance Mechanism

Background information

Type of species farmed (Source: 2023, EUMOFA; 2022, STECF; Ministry of Agriculture – Directorate of Fisheries, MA-DoF) 

Main species are Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), Atlantic Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and other herbivorous carp species, Rainbrown trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis). 

Type of production method (Source: MA-DoF)

In 2021, more than 85% of Croatian production occurred in marine waters and the rest in freshwater. The following main production methods were used: 

  • 81,9% of production: in cages in sea and brackish water. 
  • 13,6% of production: in ponds in freshwater. 
  • 3,3% of production: off bottom (in sea and brackish water). 
  • 1,2% of production: tanks and raceways (in freshwater). 

Sector’s size (production and consumption) (Source: MA-DoF; 2023, EUMOFA) 

  • Production (2020): 27.920 Tn; 166.896 thousand € (MA-DoF) 
  • Total consumption of fishery and aquaculture products (2021): 22,12 Kg per capita (2023, EUMOFA) 
  • % Variation in consumption 2021/2021: 1% 

Trends (past and future) (Source: MNSPA-NPRA 2027) 

The sustainable development of the aquaculture sector through the improvement of aquaculture productivity in a climate-smart and sustainable way, using new digital technologies and innovations, strengthening the competitiveness of the sector and the contribution of the aquaculture sector to the development of rural and coastal economies. 

Impact of aquaculture in the country’s economy, food market and labour market (Source: EuroFish; MA-DoF) 

The majority of aquaculture farms are microscale enterprises, particularly small family-owned shellfish farms, which, despite their social value, don’t contribute significantly to total production volume and value. However, the medium and large companies in marine aquaculture segment (tuna, seabass and seabream) are in minority by number, but participate in total production with more than 80%, representing the most important segment of aquaculture industry. In freshwater aquaculture sector predominate small scale companies with participation in total production of some 15%, but with a significant importance for the maintenance and conservation of biological diversity (majority of carp ponds are Natura 2000 sites), and with the potential to boost development and jobs in the inland and rural areas of the country.

Challenges and opportunities (Source: MNSPA-NPRA 2027) 


  • Diversification of species and products, further technological development of the sector,  
  • Non-existence of producer organisations,  
  • Need for improvements in marketing and branding activities,  
  • Further improvements in application of good practices and protocols for animal health and welfare management, 
  • Insufficient processing capacities and production of products with a higher added value, especially in some segments of the sector (freshwater aquaculture and shellfish farming),  
  • Market instability and high production costs (small-scale shellfish farmers), 
  • Increasing the productivity, 
  • Strengthening the competitiveness of the aquaculture sector.  


  • Looking at adaptation to climate change, by strengthening the resilience of the entire aquaculture sector, but also by mitigating climate change through the use of innovative technologies that contribute to the vision of low-carbon economy. 
  • The contribution of the aquaculture sector to restoring rural and coastal economies and improving living conditions in rural and coastal areas. 
  • Fostering innovation in the aquaculture sector.

Employment and number of enterprises (Source: MA-DoF) 

177 enterprises in 2023 

MNSP to develop sustainable aquaculture

Published National Strategic Plan on Aquaculture: National plan for aquaculture development for the period until 2027 (NPRA 2027) (in Croatian) or Decision of the Government of RC on the approval of NPRA 2027 (in Croatian).

Summary in English of the "Published National Strategic Plan on Aquaculture": National Aquaculture Development Plan for the period until 2027 (NPRA)

Applicable Procedures

Other Relevant Documents

NPRA 2027 (in Croatian) 

National associations and networks

  • Croatian Chamber of Economy, Sector for Agriculture, Fisheries Association 
  • Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, Fisheries and Aquaculture Guild 
  • Mariculture Cluster    
  • Ston Shellfish Farmers Association

Contact Details

Name and surname: Tatjana Boroša Pecigoš 

Position held and name of the organisation: Head of Service for Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture - Directorate of Fisheries  

Email address: 

Telephone number: +385 1 6443 190 


Summary in English of the "Published National Strategic Plan on Aquaculture" for Croatia
(482.82 KB - PDF)