ADRINET Adriatic Network for the Marine Eco System held a meeting in Vlora, Albania last week. Experts from the University of Montenegro, Institute of Marine Biology of Kotor, participated at this third meeting of the partners of the project, which is dedicated to better management of coastal fishing in the Adriatic. The meeting in Vlora was organized by the Albanian partner on the project, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Agricultural University in Tirana.
Besides the organizers, at the opening conference spoke the representatives of the ADRINET project leader, Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bari. Montenegrin experts, Aleksandra Huter and Dragana Drakulović presented the results of the analysis of the concentration of heavy metals in the cephalopods, as well as the concentrations of pesticides - organophosphates and carbamates in the demersal fish species. So far analyzes carried out in the Herceg Novi aquarium have shown that the concentrations of these pollutants are extremely low or below the detection limit for the method. In the forthcoming period, our experts plan to continue the analysis of heavy metals and pesticides in order to obtain the results as reliable as possible. A sampling of commercial fish species (gilthead bream and common dentax) for the analysis on antibiotics and microplastic is also planned.
With colleagues from Italy and Albania, in the further course of the meeting, the results and goals achieved since the beginning of the project implementation were discussed, as well as future activities. The most important goals will be the development of the Environmental Risk Management Plan and the Memorandum of Understanding, which will define guidelines for cooperation between scientific institutions and professional associations of the three countries, both within the project and after its realization. The theme of the meeting in Vlora was also the financial aspect of the ADRINET project. As the main target group of the project are fishermen from the pilot project zones, colleagues from Vlora, Bari and Herceg Novi will have meetings in October and November, where they are planning to exchange experiences and establish contacts with the goal of better cross-border cooperation, having in mind that we all share the same resources. As foreseen by the project budget, these gatherings will be financed from the funds of the mentioned municipalities and from the Institute of Biology of the Sea, which invites interested fishers to apply.
In addition to education, fishers will be provided with secured and GPS devices, with which they will be able to know where their fishing gear is at any time, which will primarily prevent ghost fishing - losing fish stock in networks and other tools that are lost at the bottom of the sea. The implementation of ADRINET, under the EU IPA InterReg program for Italy, Albania and Montenegro started in May last year. Its main goal is a contribution to sustainability and ecological requirements for the conservation of coastal ecosystems through the education of fishers, the provision of modern equipment and basic scientific analysis in project pilot areas. In Montenegro, that is the aquatorium of the Herceg Novi Bay, in Albania Vlora, while the project in Italy is carried out in the area of Pula, Bari and Castro.