May 16, 2018 - Within the project "The Center for the Protection of the Marine Biodiversity of the Adriatic - MonteAqua“, at the Institute of Marine Biology in Kotor, the workshop "Invasive and Alien Species" was held.
The workshop brought together experts from the field of mariculture, fishers, representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, coastal municipalities, maritime security administration, the NGO sector and other relevant institutions. In the introductory presentation, the director of the Institute, Mirko Đurović, welcomed the participant and briefly presented the project "MonteAqua" thanks to which, for the first time, Boka Bay will have an aquarium with indigenous species of the southern Adriatic and Boka Bay.
The project is scheduled to run from the 4th of December 2017 to 4th of June 2019, said his manager Radoje Laušević, who presented five groups of activities in the presentation - networking, capacity building, communication, workshops and professional studies. He said that this was the first of six planned workshops to be organized within the "MonteAqua" project.
"The expected impact of the project (changes and benefits that will come from the project) is the improved accession process of Montenegro to the European Union in the field of nature protection on the marine ecosystem and sustainable management of the protected marine ecosystem. Five planned outcomes will trigger the expected impact of the project: closer regional cooperation of all target groups, governmental institutions responsible for the European integration process under Chapter 27 of the Negotiation Process, Environment and Public Institutions Responsible for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity, Public Institutions responsible for the protection of the marine ecosystem, and local government units, academic institutions, and general public."
As the main activity of the project, Lauševic set out to establish the Center for the Marine Biodiversity Protection of Adriatic sea – Boka Aquarium at The Institute of Marine Biology in Kotor, establish a freshwater "Skadar Aquarium" in the Skadar Lake National Park, the development of a communication platform for the participants in the conservation of the biodiversity of the water and the organization of the International Conference "Protecting Adriatic Biodiversity" in 2019.
The author of the book "New Fish of the Adriatic Sea" by Dr. Jakov Dulčić from the Institute of Oceanography and Fishing from Split, with whom the Kotor Institute has worked extensively for years, held a presentation on the "Invasive and Incorporated Species in Croatia - Implementation of Laws and Experiences" in which he presented the thesis "Exotic Fish in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, big four - are there any reasons for concern?"
Dulčić said that Croatia had been intensively dealing with this problem for the last ten years: "Over 11,000 foreign species have been registered in the European Union's DAISE project in Europe. The current FASIN database of alien and invasive species is FASIN, which contains data for more than 14,000 foreign species in the EU. One of the relevant databases on foreign species from around the world is GRIIS, which also contains a list of 897 foreign species in Croatia. On July 13, 2016, the European Commission adopted the EU Commission Regulation, which contains the first list of 37 invasive foreign species that cause concern in the EU, of which there are 23 species of animals and 14 species of plants. Dulčić pointed out that controlling the introduction and spread of invasive foreign species and reducing their impact on important species and overall ecosystems, is one of the greatest challenges of nature protection in Europe today. He said that the alien species can almost never be removed from the habitat in which it spreads, except on the islands and on the restricted parts of the land where it has not yet covered.
"In 2014 a decree was made of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Prevention and Management of Intakes and the spread of foreign species that regulate the issue of invasive alien species on the territory of EU Member States. It is forbidden to deliberately put in, hold, and breed foreign species that cause concern in the Union, and the European Commission has issued a brochure on all 49 certain alien species causing concern in the EU.
He pointed out that foreign organisms are being transported through the breasts of ships in the space used for the ballast water, and that 113 sea species were imported in Croatia. Among Dulčić's big four is Callinectus sapidus (blue cancer) - an invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea that has been present in the Adriatic for a long time but its population has only recently started to increase and spread to the middle Adriatic. He is a good swimmer and has great reproductive potential. It is an entertaining and therefore potentially economically important species. It is believed that the southern part of the Adriatic has already established its population, especially in Albanian and Montenegrin waters, with the Percnon gibbesi (a racemic cancer) - an invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea. The presence of this cancer has only recently been proven in the Adriatic, with the emphasis that it has already established its population in the southern and middle part of the Adriatic. It is a coastal species that lives in the shallow sea, often under rock and ash. This ten-year-old cancer reaches maternal maturity at the length of 15 to 16 millimeters of karapacus, the Lagocephalus sceleratus (a silver-plowing aphid) - a lesepian migrant and an invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea. When it is endangered, it stretches its body and looks like a ball. It is extremely toxic (contains strong thermostable neurotoxin - tetrodotoxin) and consumption can be fatal. It can grow up to 110 centimeters and weighs about seven kilograms. EU countries are prohibited to use the meat of all species of the Tetraodontidae family (four-fold) and the Fistularia commersonii (a ponytail trumpet) is a lesepsian migrant and an invasive species in the Mediterranean. It lives alone or in groups, mostly close to underwater reefs. It is assumed that this species has established a population in the southern part of the Adriatic. It can grow up to 160 inches in total length.
After the presentation by the guest from Croatia, Milena Bataković from the Agency for the Protection of the Environment presented the Draft of the Law "Invasive and Inputted Types" of Montenegro that should be passed at the end of this year.
The "MonteAqua" Institute of Marine Biology project from Kotor is implemented in cooperation with the Center for Fishing and the Protection of the Biodiversity of Groundwater at the Institute of Biology and Ecology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Kragujevac. The project was supported by the donation of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Norwegian embassy in Belgrade.