The main aim of the project is to strengthen institutional capacity for cooperation on the conservation and management of territorial resources to mitigate risk and prevent accidents to the marine environment. The project was funded under the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme 2007-2013 – Targeted call on EUSAIR, Priority 2 – Natural and Cultural Resources and Risk Prevention, Measure 2.1 – Protection and enhancement of the marine and coastalenvironment. It was funded by the EU IPA Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation Programme and co-funded by the Croatian Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs and by the Blue World Institute own resources.

Coastal village in Croatia

Increased human use of marine and coastal space, particularly for fishing, maritime transport, tourism, and construction, has intensified pressures on these ecosystems. To ensure sustainable use of these resources an ecosystem-based approach within the frameworks of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) was considered. Both frameworks rely on cross-border collaboration and cross-sector stakeholder cooperation, and hold promise to bring together ecosystem services and Blue Growth opportunities in a sustainable way. ICM and MSP are key tools in articulating policies that balance conflicting sector-based interests competing over the use of sea-space, a competition that is likely to intensify in the future. Examples include the conflicts between traditional users (shipping, oil exploration, and fishing) and emerging activities (tourism and recreational, aquaculture, or offshore renewable energy), and between both types of users and marine protection (specifically marine protected areas).

The ADRIATIC+ project stems from the results of three IPA ordinary projects (NETCET, SHAPE, HAZADR) and two IPA Strategic Projects (BALMAS, DEFISHGEAR). All projects share a common ground – the Adriatic Sea and its marine life – and the human impacts which each project related to. Adriatic+ involves nine partners from four different countries (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro).

The project promotes the sharing of marine and coastal management experiences in the Adriatic basin in order to foster the definition of a coherent and systematic planning and to contribute to the achievement of EUSAIR objectives (PILLARS 1, 3 and 4).


The main result was a feasibility study aimed at setting up the ADRIATIC+ Decision Support System (DSS) for the adoption of measures to mitigate threats to the marine and coastal biodiversity. Thanks to the sharing of expertise and mainly of tools and data gathered within the capitalised IPA projects, the project also contributed to the establishment of a scientific and technical network among relevant organisations and experts in the Adriatic, enhancing linkages with similar EU networks and projects around the Mediterranean. Thus, the ADRIATIC+ project was strategic for the Adriatic-Ionian sea basin aiming to strengthen the macro-region capacities for a harmonious and effective sustainable development of marine and coastal environment, allowing for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for coastal communities. Here are a few details about each of the capitalised project:

The network for Conservation of Cetaceans and Sea Turtles in the Adriatic (NETCET) developed common strategies for the conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Adriatic through regional cooperation.

The results to be capitalised include:

  • The common strategies themselves;
  • National Action Plans for Sea Turtles and Cetaceans conservation in Italy, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia;
  • A Databases on Sea Turtles and Cetaceans conservation;
  • the model for the development of a city network for the Adriatic for the conservation of these species.


Shaping a Holistic Approach to Protect the Adriatic Environment aimed at developing of a multilevel and cross-sector governance system, based on a holistic approach and on an integrated management of the natural resources, risk prevention and conflict resolution among uses and users of the Adriatic coast and sea. The results to be capitalised include: A trial GIS Atlas of the Adriatic Sea Region for storing, visualising and managing data necessary to implement ICZM and MSP, harmonising data at the basin level; The Common Methodology on planning in maritime space; Analytical Reports on legal aspects, current policy and planning tools in the Adriatic Basin.

Strengthening common reaction capacity to fight sea pollution of oil, toxic and hazardous substances in Adriatic Sea (HAZADR project) realized actions aimed at harmonising national, regional and country contingency plans to strengthen common reaction capacity to tackle sea pollution deriving from oil, toxic and hazardous substances in the Adriatic Sea. The results to be capitalised include vulnerability maps containing data for the whole Adriatic coast related to five categories:

  • Shoreline type
  • Biological resource
  • Protected sites
  • Commercial fisheries and Human Use.

Derelict Fishing Gear Project in the Adriatic Sea elaborated a strategy for reducing marine litter pollution in the Adriatic Sea by involving different stakeholders (fishing industry, researchers, policy-makers, NGOs and recycling industry). The results to be capitalised include:

  • Marine litter Geographic Information System (GIS);
  • a stakeholder cooperation network as a model to strengthen joint Adriatic governance on marine litter management.

Ballast water management for Adriatic Sea protection project’s objective is to set up a common cross-border ballast water management (BWM) system according to the BWM Convention adopted by IMO in 2004 and linking all Adriatic research institutions, experts and national responsible authorities. The proposed system is set to avoid the unwanted risks to the environment and humans posed by transfers of HAOP (harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens), through ship ballast water and the associated suspended sediments. It also aims to prepare strategic documents and propose their adoption by the Adriatic countries to formally implement the developed regional BWM system. The results to be capitalised include:

  • Data on vessel movements in the Adriatic Sea;
  • Data on ballast water discharges in 12 Adriatic ports;
  • The Ballast Water Management DSS for the Adriatic.

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