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Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) for the Adriatic Sea

A Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) is an area that needs special protection through action by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) because of its significance for recognised ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons, and because it may be vulnerable to damage by international shipping activities. When an area is designated by the IMO as a PSSA, specific measures can be approved by the IMO, to reduce the risk created by the shipping activities.

There are to date ten sea areas designated as a PSSA world-wide. The EU has expressed its commitment towards preventing environmental catastrophes resulting from shipping accidents along the Atlantic coast of Europe, in the Baltic Sea, and in the Mediterranean Sea. While the first two have already been designated by the IMO as PSSAs, for the Mediterranean Sea, given the geographical and political heterogeneity, a joint proposal of all the coastal states is rather unlikely. Within the Mediterranean, however, the Adriatic Sea is a clear case that can benefit from a PSSA status, and where a joint proposal of the states concerned may enhance risk management posed by international shipping.

Identification of a PSSA at the IMO is based on a study submitted by member states, individually or jointly. Required elements for such a study have been specified by the IMO in special Guidelines. The purpose of this Project, launched in early 2005, is to facilitate the competent Croatian authorities – including primarily the Croatian Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development – with an expert study needed for considering options towards a possible proposal for the Adriatic Sea, or its parts, as a PSSA, to be further coordinated jointly with other Adriatic region states.

In addition to bilateral Norwegian-Croatian cooperation, the project aims at providing an expert input to facilitate regional cooperation on marine environmental protection in the Adriatic Sea.

Project leader: Davor Vidas

Project period: 2005-2006

Selected publications:

Vidas, Davor, 'Protecting the European Seas as Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas: The Need for Regional Cooperation in the Adriatic Sea'. In Ott, K. (ed), Croatian Accession to the European Union, Vol 4. Zagreb, Institute of Public Finance/Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 2006, pp. 347-380.

Vidas, Davor, 'O zastiti europskih mora kao osobito osjetljivih morskih podrucja i potrebi regionalne suradnje u Jadranskome moru' ('Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas: The Need for Regional Cooperation in the Adriatic Sea'). In Ott, K. (ed), Pridruzivanje Hrvatske Europskoj uniji: izazovi sudjelovanja, Vol 4. Zagreb, Institut za javne financije/Zaklada Friedrich Ebert, 2006, pp. 333-371. In Croatian.

Vidas, Davor, 'The Adriatic Sea as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area: From Initiative to Implementation'. Pre-Accession Maritime Strategy of the Republic of Croatia (CD-publication). Zagreb, Croatian Ministry of the Sea, 2005, 11 p.
 Related focal points of research:

   Law of the Sea and marine affairs

Project funding:

   Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 External cooperation partners:

   Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries, Split and Dubrovnik
   Institute Ruder Boškovic, Zagreb
   The Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia, Split
   Det Norske Veritas

Recent relevant FNI News:

Protecting the Adriatic Sea (26.10.07)

FNI Receives Award for Marine Environment Protection in Croatia (06.12.05)

Key media coverage:

'Jadran se vise truje vodom nego naftom' ('Impacts of Ballast Water in the Adriatic Sea'), Jutarnji list - Magazin, 17 November 2007. In Croatian.

'Jadran postaje osobito osjetljivo morsko podrucje' ('The Adriatic Sea towards Proclamation of a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area'), Vjesnik, 26 October 2007. In Croatian.

'11 milijardi eura za ekolosku Hrvatsku' ('11 Billion Euro for an Ecological Croatia'), Jutarnji list, 19 May 2007. In Croatian.

'Rastuci promet tankera najveca prijetnja Jadranu' ('The Growing Tanker Traffic Biggest Threat to the Adriatic Sea'), Glas Istre, 5 May 2007. In Croatian.

'Proglasenje Jadrana osobito osjetljivim morskim podrucjem za svih sest jadranskih drzava pitanje od najvece vaznosti' ('Proclamation of the Adriatic Sea as Particularly Sensitive Sea Area is a Question of Utmost Importance for All Six Adriatic Coastal States'), Novi list, 2 May 2007. In Croatian.

'Jadran treba proglasiti osobito osjetljivim morem' ('The Adriatic Sea Should Be Proclaimed a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area'), Vjesnik, 23 November 2006. In Croatian.

'Norveski i hrvatski znanstvenici predlazu proglasenje cijelog Jadrana posebno osjetljivim morskim podrucjem' ('Norwegian and Croatian scientists: The Adriatic Sea needs a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area protection'), Vjesnik, 3 November 2006. In Croatian. Front page article is here.

'Ministar mora Božidar Kalmeta na središnjoj proslavi blagdana Svetog Nikole - Dana pomoraca' ('Minister for the Sea, Božidar Kalmeta, at the Central Celebration of the St. Nichola’s Day - The Seafarers’ Day'), Glas Istre, 7 December 2005. In Croatian.

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