Plastic Busters MPAs Croatian Info Day: COVID-19 did not stop the fight against marine plastic pollution!

Despite the current situation related to COVID-19, the PLASTIC BUSTERS MPAs Croatian Info Day was held at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy in Split on Friday, October 16, 2020.

This special event, aiming at facilitating knowledge transfer, raising awareness and connecting relevant stakeholders, was organized by the University of Split, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy (FGAG) and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Croatia. Representatives from 14 Croatian governmental, research and civil society organizations attended the event. A number of relevant topics, such as examples of good practice, scientific and policy advances, innovative technologies and especially the harmonization of methodologies for monitoring marine litter in different marine compartments, were discussed in length. 

The Info Day was moderated by the Plastic Busters MPAs project manager at FGAG, who presented the most recent project activities. Representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Croatia discussed the Plastic Busters MPAs activities and plans within the Ministry as well as the latest developments regarding the Croatian marine litter legislation. A scientific adviser with the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Split outlined the current scientific advancements and highlighted some of the results obtained from previous EU projects carried out in the Adriatic Sea. 

A representative from the Brijuni National Park, the Croatian Plastic Busters MPAs Demo Site, and from the Center for Marine Research Ruđer Bošković Institute described the steps undertaken in order to design and implement the Croatian demo site activities. A representative from the “Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation”, a Croatian NGO, brought up a couple of interesting new projects and ideas. 

The Interreg Med Plastic Busters MPAs project provides a comprehensive, multifaceted and coordinated approach to fight marine litter in Mediterranean pelagic and coastal marine protected areas towards healthy marine ecosystems. The project entails actions addressing the whole management cycle of marine litter, from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation. The project is implemented by 15 partners in collaboration with 17 associated partners from the following 8 Mediterranean countries: Albania, France, Greece, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus and Slovenia.