Croatian-Italian projects for Adriatic protection presented in Zadar

NEWS 28.04.2021 12:37
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Source: Ivan Vuksa / Pixabay

Economic interests in the Adriatic area are closely linked to the protection of the sea and biodiversity, it was said on Tuesday at the conference "Innovative Solutions for the Sustainability of the Adriatic Sea" in Zadar.

Two projects for the protection of the Adriatic, InnovaMare and SUSHI DROP, were presented at the conference.

The InnovaMare strategic project seeks to connect stakeholders from the private, science and public sectors to develop and establish a model of an innovation ecosystem in the field of underwater robotics and sensors for monitoring, control and surveillance of pollution in the Adriatic Sea. It was announced that a centre of excellence in underwater robotics and sensors based in Sibenik would be established.

The main mission is long-term protection of the Adriatic, said Tomislav Rados, the vice-president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) for industry and sustainable development, adding that the total value of the project, which involves 14 partners from Croatia and Italy, is €5.6 million. It is financed by the Italy-Croatia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme.

Only 6% of the Adriatic area is under strict protection, and that percentage must increase at least five to six times so that we could reach the set goals of the Biodiversity Strategy by 2030, Rados said.

The European Union’s biodiversity strategy for 2030 aims to establish protected areas on at least 30% of European seas and land.

In the debate, Iain Shepherd, senior expert at the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, focused on the Blue Invest platform, which helps small businesses to realise their innovative ideas in order to further enhance economic growth and development and ecosystem conservation through activities related to the seas and coastal areas.

According to a report by the European Commission, the blue economy in Croatia employs about 170,000 people, generating about €3.6 billion in gross value added. At the EU level, it has a €750 billion turnover and €218 billion of gross value added.

The SUSHI DROP project (SUstainable fiSHeries wIth DROnes data Processing) involves developing a custom underwater drone (UUV technology) with acoustic equipment and optical technology, and for the development of a non-invasive method of monitoring marine ecosystem biodiversity in areas where classical sampling is not possible.

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