ZERP was initiated by the Croatian Peasant Party, then a member of Croatia's governing coalition. It was then legislated by the Croatian Government of Ivica Račan on October 3 2003, and came into effect exactly one year later, excluding European Union member states. The government informed the United Nations Secretariat of the decision prior to the 2004 enactment of the zone. On January 1 2008 the zone came into full effect as it began to be enforced for EU nations.
The zone has an area of 23,870 square kilometres. The exact boundaries of the zone date back to treaties between what was then SFR Yugoslavia and Italy in 1968 and between Croatia and FR Yugoslavia in 2001. Prior to ZERP's declaration, Italian ships annually caught 300 million euros worth of fish from the zone - ten times the amount which Croatian ships caught. In its enactment of the zone, the Croatian Government also cited the danger of the Prestige oil spill being repeated on the Croatian Adriatic, which would seriously affect the country's tourism industry.
The zone has widespread support in Croatia. All major political parties support the zone, including the Social Democratic Party, Croatian Peasant Party, and Democratic Centre. The Croatian Democratic Union has been a cautious supporter, wary of the EU's response.
In 2008, Luigi Giannini, leader of Italian fisherman organization Federcoopesca, has declared that 1/3 of all Italian fishing activity is coming from ZERP .
ENLARGEMENT : SLOVENIA PRESSES FOR ULTIMATUM FOR CROATIA OVER ZERP.(Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone)
Feb 15, 2008; In an apparent attempt to increase pressure on Croatia, Slovenia, holder of the EU Presidency, has decided to put a discussion on...