In the 70ies an 80ies, when my father and me were sailing in Yugoslavia, anchoring was free everywhere. The communist government just didn't take care about this issue, except to stay out of military areas. After the war (beginning 90ies), nautic tourism in young Croatia grew steadily and sailing in Croatia became popular.
Soon the local population started to make money out of it. Some of them simply rowed out to yachts anchoring there and requested anchoring fees, others argued "we take your garbage, you pay for disposal". After some years many sailors were concerned about arbitrariness, self-styled legal licenses and the uneven practices and procedures during collection of fees at the Anchorage.
In the 2000s, some of the Croatian Counties (Zupanija) started to grant concessions for Anchorages, but this was not published and therefore not transparent for sailors. It was hard to figure out whether or not a license was officially, especially for non-croatians.
In 2009 the Croatian government tried to bring this awkward situation to an end and defined rules for the official licensed Nautical Anchorages: Concessionaires should have the right for operating an Anchorage in accordance with the Maritime Domain and Seaports Act. The concession for an Anchorage includes the right to provide buoys for yachts and to collect a fee from all yachts in this Anchorage. Anchoring with your own anchor is prohibited inside the concession area. There shall be no fee charged for anchoring at all other Anchorages without concession. You can find the document with this rules here.
In Spring 2010, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure published a Document listing about 35 official licensed Nautical Anchorages. This Concession List is frequently updated (currently more than 50 Anchorages) and should reflect the actual status of licensed Anchorages, but it seems that due to a lack of communication between the Croatian Counties (that actually do the process of registering) and Croatian Government (the owner of the Concession List) this is not always the truth.
During Summer 2010 the Concession List brought some clearness to the situation, but still most sailors had no idea, where exactly the Anchorages were. The official Document just listed coordinates, there was no possibility to get an overview at a glance. And that's why I finally implemented my Nautical Anchorages Map at the beginning of 2011, you find the details here.
In 2011 the Croatian Counties granted several new Concessions, but the Concession List published by the Croatian Government was not updated accurate. With the help of many sailors and internet recherche I kept my Map up to date, additionally I updated this Blog to inform about new Concessions and Map modifications.
In Summer 2012 the Croatian Government extended the Maritime Domain and Seaport Act to protect the Concessionaires. The new added Article 76a (see details here) prohibited anchoring with your own anchor at distances up to 300 m around the concession areas. Discussions in internet forums showed that this modification is not popular in the sailing community, Croatian sailors started a petition against this law.
In 2013 the Croatian Government modified the Maritime Domain and Seaport Act again, the unpopular 300 m rule was reduced to 150 m, see details here.
Up to now (2016) I keep on running my Map and this Blog, to provide up to date informations about this issue. Since the Concession List is not updated regulary, I have to force my own recherche. Of course your help is appreciated, thank you.
To be continued...