Cres-Lošinj Marine Protected Area
Blue World together with other reaserch institutions proposed the establishment of the first marine protected area in the Mediterranean dedicated to bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - The Lošinj Dolphin Reserve. The Lošinj Dolphin Reserve represents the first MPA dedicated specifically to the protection of one dolphin population in the Mediterranean.
As well as helping to conserve the bottlenose dolphins, this Reserve will help conserve a number of other endangered and protected habitats and species found within the area. The area is believed to be a site of importance for the Mediterranean loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), the sea grass (Posidonia oceanica), coral biocenoses and nesting sites of the common European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Moreover, recent research identified 152 species of marine flora, 303 species of marine invertebrates (7 strictly protected, 9 protected) and 112 species of fish (19 endangered species in Croatia) within the area. The area is known also for important underwater archaeological sites particularly the site where the Greek bronze statue, a priceless replica of Lizip’s Apoksiomenos, was found.
In July of 2006 the area was granted preventative protection as the 'Special Reserve in the sea, Cres-Lošinj', which we abreviate to the Lošinj Dolphin Reserve. Preventative protection expired three years after declaration, in July 2009. In recent months the State Institute for Nature Protection proposed to change the status of the area from Special Reserve to lower the category of Regional Park. In addition zones were proposed and the borders of the area were changed.
The Cres-Lošinj Marine Protected Area is part of the Croatian National Ecological Network representing one of the core area of international importance and is nominated as potential Natura 2000 site. Establishment of this protected area fulfils the Croatian obligations to a number of national and international biodiversity conservation strategies and treaties like ACCOBAMS (Agreement for the Protection of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area), Bern and Barcelona conventions etc. and indicate a genuine interest towards the shared resources of the Adriatic Sea and Mediterranean as a whole.