The Istrian Region has 445 km of seacoast. It passed through a significant development in maritime affairs in 1850 when the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy decided to construct its main port-the port of Pula. The entire construction of the port of Pula occurred in that period, as well as the construction of its coasts, shipyard, and the break-waters. Following the construction of the break-waters and due to its natural characteristics and geographic position (protected area and sufficiently deep sea), the port of Pula belongs among one of the best natural ports in the whole Adriatic.
According to the Decree on the Grouping of Ports Open for Public Traffic, the Istrian Region includes 7 ports with regional significance: Pula, Brijuni, Rovinj, Poreč, Novigrad, Umag, and Plomin.
Public traffic ports with regional and local significance (the total of 26) are administered by 5 regional port administrations founded by the Istrian Region (Port Administrations Pula, Rovinj, Poreč, Umag-Novigrad, and Rabac).
The port of Bršica situated in the area of the Istrian Region is administered by the Port Administration Rijeka founded by the Republic of Croatia.
The Istrian Region has a regular ferry connection with the island of Cres through the ferry port going from Brestova to Porozina. Regarding other passenger connections on the sea, there is the connection from Pula to Mali Lošinj functioning during the season, and several boat tourist connections during the season to Venice and Trieste with ports in tourist centres (Poreč, Rovinj, Umag, and Pula).