Environmentally friendly anchorages

During July 2021, as part of the project Interreg Italy – Croatia SASPAS within the Kornati National Park, a total of 40 environmentally friendly anchorages were installed in the bays: Kravljačica, Strižnja, Šipnate and Tomasovac – Suha punta. In each of these bays, there are 10 anchorages for vessels up to 16 meters long.

Picture 1. Environmentally friendly anchorages in Kornati NP.

There is a buoy at each anchorage. All buoys were set using the “Earth Anchor” system – a method of drilling through the sand and sea sediment into a rock base where the anchors were shot directly into the seabed. Given the nature of the setup, the impact on marine sediment is short-lived and negligible.

During the installation, and later the exploitation of the anchorage, there is no contact with the vegetation, which is extremely important for the preservation of vegetation cover and why this anchoring system is more environmentally friendly compared to the installation of concrete blocks.

Picture 2. Anchor bolt drilled into the seabed

Each anchorage consists of a circular sea area with an anchor bolt in the center, as well as an anchor buoy with a final mooring loop of anchor rope next to it. It is important to emphasize that this solution was chosen to ensure that the anchor chain does not touch the seabed even during the low water level. The anchor mooring works in such a way that the vessel is moored to the anchor rope, and depending on the influence of the wind on the vessel, it rotates around the anchor buoy.

Picture 3. Buoy to which the vessel is moored with a bow

Installation of environmentally friendly anchoring buoys are one of the goals of the SASPAS project, as part of which we conducted a campaign, where our goal was to raise public awareness, especially sailors, about the importance of protection and conservation of seagrass, with special emphasis on posidonia.

Posidonia (Posidonia oceanica), a strictly protected species, is a seagrass and endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. Posidonia meadows are considered to be the most important ecosystem of the Mediterranean because they are oxygen factories and carbon dioxide stores. Marine organisms, primarily fish, seek shelter among its leaves, spawn and reproduce. Despite their prevalence, they are threatened by numerous human actions, and the biggest threat is free anchoring.

With the successful installation of such an anchor system within the SASPAS project, the realization of the long-term goal of the Kornati National Park has begun, to establish anchorages in all 19 bays and to completely ban free anchoring in the national park.