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Environment: conference on Adriatic pollution in Split

Greater collaboration between coastal guards is needed

03 October, 10:36
(ANSA) - ZAGREB - An international conference focusing on the protection of the Adriatic Sea from pollution caused by marine traffic, which has been increasing a lot during the last decade, began today in Split, on the Dalmatian coast, Croatia. The meeting, attended by a hundred politicians, experts and representatives of coastal guards and other agencies of the countries overlooking the Adriatic Sea, will focus, over the next five days, on the possibility to improve collaboration in case of breakdowns, but also to find new ways to reduce the negative impact on the sea of everyday traffic. ''It is crucial to develop cooperation and new rescue techniques in the event of accidents, but also to safeguard the marine environment'', said the state secretary at Croatia's Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Maja Markovcic Kostelac, opening the conference. According to data from the ministry, about 7,500 ships enter the Adriatic Sea each year, carrying an average of 75mn tons of potentially harmful or dangerous materials, 11.5mn in Croatian ports. In addition, there are about 180,000 ships, boats of various sizes and yachts sailing the Adriatic Sea, especially for tourism purposes. ''The Adriatic is a small and quite shallow sea, therefore no national coastal guard can be effective without the support and cooperation of neighbouring countries'', added Markovic Kostelac. On behalf of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Frederic Hébert said that the EU is always willing to support transnational rescue and prevention projects, especially taking into account the current strong growth of tourist traffic across the Mediterranean basin.

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