July 20, 2020 - The fishing port planned for the southern part of the Montenegrin coast, will provide a sufficient number of safe berths for Montenegrin fishers. It will undoubtedly be another tourist attraction of the Ulcinj region, believes the Director of the Institute of Marine Biology Aleksandar Joksimovic.
Fishers use only a certain number of berths in existing ports and marinas, which also creates an administrative burden for them. This problem is especially evident during the summer months, when the tourist season is in full swing, and when a large number of yachts are staying in our ports and marinas," explains Joksimović.
The scientists of the Institute of Marine Biology pointed out the need for this port, within the process of negotiations between Montenegro and the European Union, through the working group 13-Fisheries.
They also participated in the development of the Fisheries Strategy of Montenegro 2015 - 2020 with an action plan for the transposition, implementation, and enforcement of the Acquis Chapter 13-fisheries. They gave particular importance to the provision of fishing infrastructure and logistics on the coast.
"Along with the rejuvenation of the fishing fleet, whose average age is close to 50 years, safe berths for fishing boats must be provided.
He points out that the development of modern fisheries largely depends on logistics on the coast.
"Once the fishermen have a safe fishing port, they will undoubtedly sleep more soundly, because at the moment every storm and squall carries the danger of breaking the berths and damaging the boats. It is known that the south wind is strong and hazardous, which develops from the Otranto Gate and batters the coast of Montenegro.
Once the first berth sites on the coast are built, fishers will have a more accessible opportunity to sell their catch in controlled conditions. It certainly gives a new impetus to the control by the competent institutions but also provides better and more accurate statistics on the annual catch of all fishermen. Such well-developed and modernized fishing is the future of the coastal region of Montenegro, and our society has a chance to have healthy food from the sea on its tables, says Joksimović.
Research of marine fisheries resources, which the Institute continuously conducts within national government programs for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs, and international scientific expeditions (MEDITS and MEDIAS), shows a well-preserved fish stock in Montenegrin seas compared to other areas of the Adriatic.
"More precisely, this fact gives us the right to request the exemption of Montenegro from restrictive measures, i.e., the Decision on reducing the number of fishing days and catches, both for demersal and pelagic resources, at all meetings of the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean."
We have won key battles in this area, and for now, the decisions of the GFCM and the EU do not apply to countries that have small fleets and make low catches annually. This is of exceptional importance for the fisheries of Montenegro because we want to strengthen and modernize our fleet, with safe and robust ships, which can make better catches," said Joksimović.
He believes that this fact gives an opportunity to the processing industry, which should, with the help of European funds, open small, family factories for processing fish and fish products in the hinterland of the Montenegrin coast.
"Such a final product will undoubtedly have a higher economic value than raw fish. These products should find their way to the tourist gastronomic offerings of our hotels and restaurants, which should be taken into account. Of course, we should also increase the consumption of fish and seafood among our own people, considering that food from the sea is rich in healthy proteins and omega fatty acids," states Joksimović.
As an essential link in all aspects of this economic activity, the Director of the Institute of Marine Biology, emphasizes the vital role of fishers, as members of all national working groups.
"Fishers are the most vital here because without them there would be no fishing. They know best how hard and demanding the work is. Their suggestions and comments are of great importance in all initiatives and projects related to fisheries. As much as possible, we always accept suggestions and work to maximize their interest, says Joksimovic.
As a scientific research organizational unit of the University of Montenegro, the Institute is a link between fishers, their needs and requirements, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Administration.
"Because of their trust in the Institute, everything they notice, they immediately tell us, ask us for our opinion, look for scientific answers to the processes and changes in the sea, which they see. Through this mutual communication, we enrich knowledge, and we come up with essential data. We are especially dedicated to the appearance of new invasive species, which we have recorded in recent years. Fishermen are happy to receive the scientific teams of the Institute on boats, which in their regular activities get the original data on the state of our fish stock, which is indeed the best possible way of doing so," states Joksimović.
On the other hand, he adds, the Ministry has a reliable scientific partner in the Institute, especially with regard to making important decisions based on scientific data.
"In that way, we are all certain that fishing must be sustainable, respecting all the principles and codes of responsible fishing, which we have been cultivating in Montenegro for decades," says Joksimović.
He also points out that the Institute carries out broad international cooperation in the areas of Mediterranean and Adriatic fisheries, and sea ecosystems, which is borne out through many completed and ongoing projects, within which the Institute is a vital partner.
"Our wish is to make the best use of our "blue" field and to, as much as possible, increase the consumption of healthy fish and seafood in our society," concludes Joksimović.