It is the last day of the Interreg Italy-Croatia SASPAS project. Although we are a little sad that the project is ending, we look with pride at everything we have done, in which we had the opportunity to participate, to the collaborations we have achieved with partners, and at everything new we have learned.
Most often, when planning, a very ambitious plan is made, which you cannot change afterward, and because of situations that you cannot influence, you fail to fully realize it. But SASPAS showed us that sometimes it is possible to do more than planned. Two transplantations of Posidonia were carried out instead of one and two monitorings more than planned. After more than 20 years of struggle with administration and finances in the Kornati National Park, the installation of ecological anchorages was finally realized. With the “Become a Posidonia Keeper” campaign, we achieved that the word Posidonia oceanica is no longer unknown to the public, but that you call us and ask how you can get involved and become ambassadors and guardians of Posidonia.
This international project included eight partner organizations, which, by working together, aimed to establish a system that would preserve seagrasses. The focus of Sunce was on the activities carried out in the Kornati National Park, but also on the national campaign “Become a Posidonia Keeper“.
In the fall of 2019, we dived in the bay of Kravljačica and saw how Posidonia transplantation is being done for the first time in this part of the Adriatic. We regularly monitored the condition of natural and transplanted meadows. In the summer of 2021, the Public Institution of NP Kornati installed a total of 40 environmentally friendly anchorages in the bays: Kravljačica, Strižnja, Šipnate and Tomasovac – Suha punta. In each of the mentioned bays, 10 anchorages have been placed for vessels up to 16 meters in length. With the successful installation of such an anchor system as part of the SASPAS project, the realization of the long-term goal of NP Kornati – the establishment of anchorages in 19 bays and a complete ban on free anchoring in the Park – has began.
With the “Become a Posidonia Keeper” campaign, we developed a network of ambassadors and keepers of Posidonia. The campaign’s goal was to educate stakeholders in the nautical sector about the importance of Posidonia and ways and tips to actively get involved and save Posidonia with simple steps.
We brought the project to an end by organizing a Conference on reducing the impact of anchoring on marine flowering plants, where we discussed the next steps with relevant stakeholders – mapping and monitoring of meadows; simplifying the process of issuing concessions for ecological anchorages; establishment of mechanisms for financing the protection of Posidonia; education of sailors and informing the public; strengthening competences and capacities for better supervision of anchoring and strategic thinking of sustainable nautical tourism. Colleagues from Spain shared examples of good practice from the Balearic Islands, where we were once again convinced that the basis for change is motivation and cooperation.
The story of Posidonia in Sunce has been going on for 20 years and it is still going on. The SASPAS project is one in a series of successful steps that give us motivation for further work on the Posidonia meadows preservation.
So, continue to follow us and “Become a Posidonia Keeper”!