Welcome to the
Marine Partnership
Learn About Us




Marine partnership is a project conducted by the Blue World Institute and its partners: Blue World Vis, Argonauta, Public Institution Priroda and Public Institution National Park Kornati. Full name of the project is „Partnership fir sustainable use of common marine resources“. The project started in September 2015 and will be conducted during 18 months. Total value is 115 298.60 EUR, of which 88 203.43 EUR is financed by the European Union and 15 565.31 EUR is financed by the Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Government of the Republic of Croatia through IPA 2011 program.



The Adriatic Sea is one of the most valued resources in Croatia. Fisheries and tourism are economies that mostly depend on the health of marine environment. While providing significant income, these also carry potential to negatively influence marine environment and biodiversity. Today, there are various means to protect the marine environment, including national parks and nature parks, but also networks of protected areas, Natura 2000 network being one of best known. However, management of protected areas in Croatia is mostly based on “top-down” approach, meaning decisions that can influence local communities that are closely dependent on protected areas are made by governing bodies, with little input from the locals. This way, local communities are often left out of the process of making decisions that ultimately influence their everyday life. This problem has been recognized by civil society organizations (CSOs) which provide one mechanism for public involvement in decision making.  Croatian membership in EU further enhances potential mechanisms to include local communities in decision making in issues concerning well-being of common resources. Although these mechanisms exist, they are not yet sufficiently recognized by the general public. Additional problems are insufficient awareness of the socio-economic potentials that MPAs carry and poor cooperation between CSOs, public institution for managing protected areas and local stakeholders. The poor cooperation is even more pronounced when dealing with issues to marine environment, which does not recognize man made administrative borders.

The general aim of the action is protection of biodiversity of the Adriatic Sea, particularly in Natura 2000 areas of Primorsko-goranska, Šibensko-kninska and Splitsko-dalmatinska counties, through partnership between stakeholders. To achieve this, we identified these objectives.

1. Strengthened capacity of project partner organizations for further networking and involvement in conservation of marine environment

2. Increased motivation and capacity of local stakeholders for application of sustainability principles in everyday conduct and participation in decision making

3. Creation of partnership between CSOs, public institutions for managing protected areas and local stakeholders





The following activities are planned to achieve the objectives:
1. Specialized training courses for project partner organizations with the aim to exchange experience, increase capacity and strengthen cooperation
2. Public awareness campaign about the socio-economic potential of the marine protected areas and training programs for application of sustainability principles and participation in decision making
3. Biodiversity monitoring program in three counties
4. Formation of partneship between project partners and local stakeholders


The project partners took part in an experience exchange workshop and two specialized training courses aimed at enabling participants for collection, analysis and interpretation of data about the status of biodiversity. As five project partners have different backgrounds in terms of the field of expertize, these trainings ensure more cohesive future actions that will aim at addressing various issues related to marine environment conservation.










We created 6 informative brochures in which you can read about some of the most prominent marine protected areas in Primorsko-goranska, Šibensko-kninska and Splitsko-dalmatinska counties, marine biodiversity conservation, public participation in decision making and Marine Parnership.


You can download brochures (in Croatian) in .pdf here.


This application contains information about the marine protected areas and species in a format that’s always at hand – on your smartphone or tablet.

Workshops for local stakeholders will be held in Veli Lošinj, Murter and Komiža as follows:
Veli Lošinj - 18 and 19 February 2016
Murter - 23 and 24 February 2016
Komiža - 23 and 24 February 2016
All those interested can contact us at info@partnerstvozamore.org






Effective conservation measures rely on relevant and up-to-date information about the area or species that we want to protect. In order to provide such information to the institutions in charge for managing marine protected areas, we conducted a monitoring program in the waters of Primorsko-goranska, Šibensko-kninska and Splitsko-dalmatinska counties. In summer 2015 we collected data on the occurrence and distribution of marine mega fauna and the interactions with fisheries and tourism.





The Natura 2000 network includes those areas particularly important for protection of species and/or habitats. It is based on two documents: The Birds Directive and The Habitats Directive and represents a cornerstone for the strategy of EU countries to conserve wild species and natural habitats. The management scheme of the Natura 2000 network recognizes both, need to ensure prerequisite conditions for long-term protection and the need to account for the needs of the local communities. Therefore, the management rules for the protected areas in the Natura 2000 network do not exclude all human activities, but incorporate them into management plans. The Natura 2000 network is exceptionally important for conservation of marine organisms and their habitats since it includes marine area that previously made up only a small percentage of the total protected areas in Europe. It is also important to stress that protecting areas on land can also contribute to better status of neighboring marine areas since terrestrial and marine habitats are closely related.
Find out more about the Natura 2000 network here.


what is the potential of marine protected areas?

Traditionally, the main goal of marine protected areas (MPAs) was to maintain unique or exceptionally valuable marine habitats which support abundant and diverse wildlife, including economically significant or simply charismatic species. Beside this main role, the MPAs today play ever more pronounced role in economy, both in EU and other parts of the world. It is estimated that total value of works, services and goods related to protected areas in the EU surpasses 15 billion EUR. There are other benefits, although more difficult to measure, that protected areas bring to local communities and general public. These include increased quality of life, over-spill effect, branding of the area in competitive market etc. These indirect effects can not be measured directly, but estimates indicate that investments into management of Natura 2000 areas return 5 to 7 times their value yearly.


overview of marine protected areas in croatia

There are 408 protected areas in Croatia, of which marine protected areas make up 1.94% of the territorial sea surface. Here we bring an overview of some of the MPAs that stand out due to their size or significance.




Bisevo preview



Brusnik i Svetac preview

Islands Brusnik and Svetac


Central Dalmatian and Peljesac preview

Central Dalmatian Islands and Pelješac


Cliffs of Krk and Cres preview

Cliffs of Krk and Cres


Cres-Losinj preview



Cres-Rt Suha-Rt Meli preview

Cres - Rt Suha - Rt Meli


NP Kornati preview

National Park Kornati


Pakleni preview

Pakleni Islands


Prvic preview

Island of Prvić


Vis preview

Vis Archipelago


Zut-Sit preview

Žut-Sit Archipelago



Whether you are professionally linked to the sea, you enjoy it during your holiday or are just a concerned citizen, there are different ways how you can contribute to conservation of marine habitats and species. The Marine Partnership project activities are aimed at acquainting you with how you can contribute to marine conservation and facilitating your participation.



Effective conservation measures are ideally based on correct and up-to-date data about the state of the marine habitat and biodiversity. These data are usually collected and analyzed by scientists through research and monitoring programs. But in today’s world public can significantly contribute to data collection. Whoever spends time in nature or at sea can report their sightings and this way complement the scientists’ and conservationists’ efforts in creating a broad and detailed image of the state of the biodiversity and habitats.

You can also help by reporting your sightings via form on this website or via smartphone and tablet application. It is very simple – install the app on your smartphone or tablet and use it whenever you observe something interesting while at sea. The app enables you to report a sighting on the spot or later, add photos and location. It also contains species descriptions for easier identification.



How to install apps that are not from the Google Play Store:

To enable the application installation you need to turn on “Unknown Sources” on your Android smartphone.

This allows you to install the application from our web site:

Settings -> Security -> Unknown sources 

Download App:



Get it on App Store


You can see reported sightings on this map:





respect the code of conduct


When encountering wild animals, certain code of conduct should be followed. If you encounter an endangered or protected species, following the code of conduct ensures the least possible disturbance and thus contributes to their conservation. Besides that, if code of conduct is respected, the animals usually don’t feel threatened and will not flee which will grant you a great experience in observing wildlife. Here you can find code of conduct for observing different species that you might encounter in the Adriatic.


if you see dolphins


Approach them slowly, gradually reducing distance to the group and with a shallow angle from the side. Avoid sudden changes in speed and course. This way you are giving them enough time to adapt to your presence.



Drive your boat parallel and slightly behind the group. You can put your engine to neutral while they are diving, but don’t rush towards them after they surface. If dolphins approach your boat maintain speed and course. If you notice newborns, hear loud blows or see them tail-slapping, suddenly changing direction straight towards or away from you – leave. Keep distance of at least 50 m to the group and make sure no more than 3 boats are close to the group.



Don’t follow the dolphins for longer than 30 minutes. When leaving, accelerate gradually. Don’t forget that dolphins are wild animals, dependent on their regular activities to survive. Your presence is disturbance, regardless how you conduct yourself.


Keep in mind that dolphins are legally protected in Croatia. Circling around dolphins, aggressively driving towards the group, trying to touch or any other way directly interact with dolphins is considered harassment. Deliberate killing, injuring or harassing dolphins is prohibited by law.

Download Code of Conduct here.

if you see the monk seal


If you notice a monk seal during swimming or diving, remain calm and do not approach the animal.

If you notice a monk seal resting on the coast, hide and observe it from distance. If you have a camera try to take some photos.

If you notice a monk seal while on the boat, stop and wait for the animal to leave before you proceed.

If you notice a monk seal while in a cave, retreat immediately along the cave wall, leaving space for the animal to escape.

Do not enter caves in which the monk seals are known to enter and rest.


if you see a sea turtle


Sea turtles often float on the surface, warming up on the sun. Only small part of their carapace is visible so keep an eye on the sea surface while driving a boat and change your course on time to avoid collision.

If you see a live sea turtle, observe it from distance. Do not try to catch it or swim and dive with it.

If you find an injured or dead sea turtle, mark the location and, if possible, check if the sea turtle is tagged and note down data from the tag. Report the finding by calling 112 or using our reporting application.


if you see griffon vultures


If you are sailing in the area of the islands of Cres, Krk, Prvić or Plavnik you might see the griffon vultures nesting on the cliffs above the sea. In that case please follow this code of conduct to reduce disturbance:

Reduce your speed to minimum near the cliffs where the griffon vultures are nesting.

Do not climb the cliffs in ornithological reserves and other locations where the griffon vultures are nesting.

While observing them from a boat, keep quiet (no clapping, shouting) and do not stay too long in their vicinity.

If you find an injured, poisoned or incapacitated griffon vulture, call 112 or report it via our smartphone app.


Recommended Operators

Here you can find our certified partners – rent a boat services, tourist agencies, charters, diving centers and excursion boat operators who have proven their commitment to apply sustainability principles in their everyday conduct at sea. By implementing these principles, these partners contribute to our effort to conserve marine habitats and species and therefore we can certainly recommend them.

Report a Sighting

We will use your personal data (phone number or e-mail) only to contact you in case we are interested in more details about the sighting for scientific purposes. Your personal data will not be given to any other party or used for any other reason. If you have any questions or want to share more details about the sighting, please contact us at: info@marine-partnership.org

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Here you can see all reported sightings: