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Artificial reef in Croatia will help protect and boost marine diversity

Artificial reef in Croatia will help protect and boost marine diversity

The reef is the first of its kind in the country

An artificial reef located in the Croatian region of Zadar will help protect and boost biodiversity in the region. The project is a first for Croatia and will allow for greater environmental protection and for greater opportunities at sustaining and supporting marine life.

The project is funded by the EU, through the European Regional Development Fund, under the Adri.SmArtFish project. Upon its completion, studies will determine the effectiveness of the reef and how it can serve other purposes – such as, for example, bolstering the tourism and fishing industries in the city.

Whatever it takes to protect marine life

The project for the artificial reef is developed jointly by a total of 10 partners, 5 hailing from Croatia and 5 from neighbouring Italy. The leading partner is the Italian region of Veneto while the rest include Ca'Foscari University (Venice), Friuli-Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region (Trieste), Emilia Romagna Region (Bologna), Marche Region (Ancona), Istria County Pazin), Primorje - Gorski Kotar County (Rijeka), Zadar County (Zadar), Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Split) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Zagreb).

The massive structure, weighing a total of 8 tons will be located in the Zadar channel near the island of Osljak. It follows the example set by other countries who have already created similar artificial reefs, including France, Spain and Italy who have deployed them in order to protect marine life near their own coasts.

The area around Osljak is particularly interesting, given the high density of fishing that takes place in the rocky bottom areas that surround it. Thanks to the project, new innovative ways for maritime special planning will be investigated which bring further added value to the project.

The artificial reef project costs some 3.2 million euros, 85% of which will be covered by the European Development Fund.

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