Seagrasses are one of the most important and endangered marine habitats. They provide food, shelter, an area for reproduction and development of numerous marine organisms, produce oxygen, and protect the coast from erosion. In this way, they support fisheries and the rest of the economy of local communities.
Globally, these meadows are responsible for more than 10% of the carbon stored in the seas, although they comprise only 0.2% of the total surface area of the seabed. It is estimated that they bind carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests and play an extremely important role in mitigating climate change.
Conference on reducing the impact of anchorage on seagrasses is being held at the Atrium Hotel in Split on June 9 and 10, 2022 as the final event of the EU Interreg Italy-Croatia SASPAS project “Safe Anchoring and Seagrass Protection in the Adriatic Sea”, and its goals are:
• presentation of the results of the SASPAS project,
• exchange of experiences on challenges and possible solutions to reduce the impact of anchoring,
• building partnerships and strengthening the capacity of representatives of various institutions from Croatia and Italy related to the conservation of marine flowering plants.
– Seagrasses meadows, especially Posidonia, are threatened by the filling of the coast, wastewater, breeding grounds for marine organisms, and the use of trawling fishing gear. Free anchoring causes particular damage to Posidonia meadows. With this Conference, we want to share experiences on ways to reduce the impact of anchoring on these important and endangered habitats – emphasized Zrinka Jakl, Managing Board President of the Sunce Association.
Experiences from Croatia and Italy and examples of good practices from Spain will be presented at Conference. Panelists, representatives of protected areas, the tourist sector, and private anchorage concessionaires will discuss the issues of establishing ecological anchorages and control of free anchorage.
The conference will be held live, with a limited number of participants, with the possibility of watching it via the YouTube channel, by the interested public, at the following links:
The SASPAS project started in January 2019 and ends in June 2022. The goal of the project is the preservation and restoration of seagrasses through the installation of environmentally friendly anchoring systems, the pilot project of transplantation of seagrasses, monitoring and defining an integrated management system for seagrasses in the Adriatic.
– In Croatia, as part of the SASPAS project, 40 environmentally friendly anchoring systems were installed in the Kornati National Park, monitoring was established and transplantation of Posidonia was carried out on sites damaged by anchoring, which is one of the first such procedures in the Croatian part of the Adriatic. In order to make sailors and the general public aware of these issues, we launched the “Become a Posidonia keeper” campaign, which is still ongoing. – said Vida Zrnčić, project manager of the SASPAS project within the Sunce Association.
The project SASPAS – “Safe Anchoring and Seagrass Protection in the Adriatic Sea” is financed by the European Fund for Regional Development within the framework of the Interreg V-A IT-HR CBC Program (Priority Axis 3 – Environment & cultural heritage). It was conducted by eight partner institutions from Croatia and Italy, under the leadership of the Municipality of Monfalcone from Italy (Selc Cooperative Company (IT), National Interuniversity Consortium for Marine Sciences (IT), Provisional Management Consortium of Regional Natural Park »Coastal Dunes from Torre Canne To Torre San Leonardo«, Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce (HR), Kornati National Park (HR), University of Rijeka (HR), Consortium for The Coordination of Research Activities Concerning The Venice Lagoon System (IT)).