Thursday, 4 May 2023

Osijek Company Saponia's Revenues Exceed 27 Million Euros

May the 4th, 2023 - The Osijek company Saponia's revenues have exceeded a very impressive 27 million euros, and the company's most significant investment yet is now entering into its final phase.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, the beginning of the year brought an almost 10 percent increase in revenue to the Osijek company Saponia, which exceeded 27 million euros (27.1) in the first quarter of 2023.

In the financial report published last week for the first three months of this year, the company notes that a strong increase in profitability of 35 percent was created with the achievement of EBIT of 1.2 million euros, as well as a proportional increase in EBT of 32 percent, with the achievement of profit before tax in the amount of 1.2 million euros.

Revenues from sales on the domestic market grew significantly, which, in relation to the same period last year was 18 percent higher and amounted to 15.3 million euros. On foreign markets, which are responsible for 43% of total revenues, that realisation amounted to 11.4 million euros.

Balanced growth

"Despite the increased absorption of input costs, the Osijek Saponia company's operations are continuing to head in the planned direction. Significant growth in terms of business income was achieved in a very difficult cost and operational environment.

The financial progress of business income consequently preserves and improves other key business indicators, and as such the ratio of net debt to EBITDA was maintained at 1.8, and the level of net working capital recorded an increase of 57 percent and amounted to 39.5 million euros. The value created in the first quarter of 2023 confirms that the balanced growth of Saponia has been created," the quarterly financial report states.

However, it has been noted that the business is still primarily characterised by cost pressure through the growth of prices of raw materials and packaging, energy costs and further increases in the gross salary of employees.

"As such, the costs of production materials are 23 percent higher, and the costs of energy and fuel are 55 percent higher compared to the first quarter of last year. The work of our employees was supported by an increase in payments for labour costs of 16 percent, which had an aliquot effect on the increase in the average gross salary for 1,071 employees," they stated.

Energy restoration

In a period in which the importance of energy sustainability and savings is becoming more and more clear, the Osijek Saponia company is beginning to "harvest" the benefits of intensive investments in increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, about which the company said the following:

"Certainly the most important project for the development of the Osijek Saponia company as a modern and environmentally conscious enterprise is energy renovation, which is entering the final phase, and even at first glance you can see the change on the facades of all four buildings, and we expect the end result, i.e. savings, by the end of the year. The workers in the production plants are already seeing the announced positive changes in working conditions, and our goal is to continue this process and a number of new projects have been prepared and are ready for implementation,'' the statement read.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 4 May 2023

Croatian Company Koncar Boasts 1.2 Billion Euros of Open Orders

May the 4th, 2023 - The Croatian company Koncar can boast of an enormous 1.2 billion euros in open orders, with the first quarter of 2023 looking very good for them indeed.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the first three months of 2023, the Croatian company Koncar (Koncar Group) achieved very impressive consolidated sales revenues in the amount of 171.5 million euros, which is 54.2 million euros or 46.2% more in comparison to the same period last year. In the total revenue the company earned from sales, the share of exports increased, amounting to 64% in the first quarter alone.

In relation to the comparative period from last year, revenues from the sale of the Croatian company Koncar's products and services in terms of exports increased across all markets in which they operate, and a particularly significant increase in revenues was recorded in the European Union's (EU) single market, where exports increased by 30.8 million euros. Exports to the EU amounted to 79.9 million euros, repesenting 73.2% of the company's total exports.

At the same time, the business segment of electricity transmission and distribution achieved particularly good results, thanks to the high demand for transformers due to the increasing momentum of the green transition. In addition to contracting on the EU market, which  159.9 million euros higher than back during the first quarter of 2022, contracting on all of the other markets on which the company is present has also increased.

Newly contracted deals in the first quarter of 2023 were concluded in the amount of 404.7 million euros and are more than double the amount of contracted deals in the same period last year.

According to Gordan Kolak, the president of the Koncar Management Board, open orders, the backlog, which reached a record amount of 1.2 billion euros and have increased by 233.1 million euros compared to the end of 2022, stand out in particular and represent the basis for growth.

Despite the growth in profits, the energy crisis and ongoing geopolitical turmoil as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine had a strong impact on profitability, and EBITDA was reduced by 15.2%, while operating profit was realised in the amount of 10.7 million euros and was lower by 4.3 million euros.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Living in Croatia - What on Earth is FINA and What Does it Do?

May the 3rd, 2023 - There are some rather obscure institutions in Croatia, and when you begin living any form of real life here, you'll run into several of them. One institution that is worth familiarising yourself with is FINA, or the Financial Agency.

A brief history of FINA

FINA has been around for around half a century, but has only had its current name since 2002. Formerly known as the Payment Transactions Institute, or the Social Bookkeeping Service, it was the only entity in all of the former Yugoslavia which was able to authorise and execute domestic transactions. It has played a key role in many reforms, from the pension reform to the payment reform, and it has regional centre in the cities of Osijek, Zagreb, Rijeka and Split. There are also many other smaller branches dotted all over the country, and an interactive map of them can be found here.

What actually is it?

Are these offices banks? Tax office branches? Kind of, but no. FINA is Croatia's leading financial and electronic service provider. It deals with business information, cash operations, payment transactions, education, e-business services of various kinds, financial mediation, payment transactions and so on. It has quite the portfolio. It even offers safety deposit boxes.

It isn't a bank (although it might look like a small one at first glance), but it does have close cooperation with the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB) and other banks operating in Croatia. It describes itself as a public company which operates according to the stringent rules which regulate the activities of the free market, and it is also a government partner. 

According to its website, FINA has ''a longstanding tradition in business, its strength being mirrored in the successful implementation of large scale projects in the public sector, the implementation of legislation, computerisation and the enhancement of public services, and sharing knowledge and expertise of employees in the finance, electronic, cash and other services, aswell as responding to the needs of all client categories.''

In order words, FINA will be a repeated theme in your life if you own a company, or intend to open one. 

FINA also has agreements with numerous different utility providers in Croatia, and these are: 



PEOVICA d.o.o.



DUNDOVO d.o.o.


Digital certificates FINA issues and deals with

FINA issues numerous different digital certificates, and these are:

A qualified electronic time stamp

CA certificates

Fina's PKI system

Conformation and legislation documents and certificates

Certificate revocation lists (CRLs)

A tool with which you can search certificates

FINA's register of digital certificates

More information about each of these certificates can be accessed via FINA savings. You can also find out about how to obtain any of the aforementioned documents/certificates here.

E-business, e-invoice and e-payment services

Being the driver of digitalisation in business in Croatia, FINA naturally deals with e-business, which allows users to issue e-invoices and deal in e-payments. The e-business service enables the entry, signing, sending and timestamping of e-invoices, e-invoice receipt certificates, change of e-invoice status, the archiving and search of e-invoices, the use of templates, the graphic personalisation of e-invoices (such as company logos and so on), and their matching to payment orders. FINA's e-nvoice service is connected with the Internet banking services provided by all Croatian banks which hold a valid business cooperation contract with FINA, and which enables the automated preparation of electronic payment orders for all kinds of purchased goods and services.

FINA uses a tool called PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) for its e-business system, which, via its cross-border e-procudrement system, includes the issuing of e-invoices and making e-payments. You can find much more information about PEPPOL and how it works with invoicing Croatian state beneficiaries by clicking here.

What FINA does for the Croatian Government

As mentioned previously, FINA is a very close and important partner of the government, and as such it carries out numerous services and deals with various products for the state. This is where the ''Is FINA a tax office?'' question comes into play. In short, no it isn't, but it does have a lot to do with the supervision of compulsory contribution, surtax and tax payments. It's also where the ''Is FINA a bank?'' question might be asked, and again, no, it isn't, but it is heavily involved with all significant national treasury activities.

In short, FINA is involved with the following government agencies, providing various products and services:

HITRO and HITRONet (Croatian Government communication network)

REGOS (Registry of Insured Individuals)

RegZap (Public Sector Employees Registry)

The National Treasury System

e-File (Ministry of Justice)

The Blue Diesel Consumption Supervisory System

The Funds Enforcement System

The Registry of Court and Notary Services

You can find out about what each of these systems do, which state entity they're affiliated with, and how FINA provides services for them by clicking here.

For more on moving to, living in and travelling to and from Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section. Keep an eye out for our How to Croatia articles which tackle a different aspect of doing things here and which are published every Wednesday.

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Jarun Reconstruction - Check Out What's New at Zagreb's Prime Spot

May 3, 2023 - The Jarun reconstruction works were worth 3.7 million euros, of which around 2.4 million euros are expected to be covered by the EU Solidarity Fund and the rest from the budget of the City of Zagreb.

As Poslovni writes, Aleja Matija Ljubek on Jarun was renovated after 40 years, and on Saturday, Mayor Tomašević visited it, expressing his satisfaction.

"After 40 years since the Universiade, Aleja Matija Ljubek was finally renovated, and not only was it renovated, but improved, first of all for cyclists, but also for pedestrians," the mayor pointed out.

For the arrival and departure from the Recreation and Sports Center (RSC) Jarun, for the first time, public transport, the ZET bus on weekends, can now be used, he says.

"All visitors doing various activities around Jarun can use the bus, for now, on weekends," said Tomašević, who took a ride on the ZET bus with his colleagues after the press conference.

He said that they managed to withdraw the money for the works on that road from the Solidarity Fund; almost everything done will be financed from that EU fund, so they made savings in the city budget.

He said he is pleased "that we are going to Jarun without a car." As a transitional solution, the number of parking spaces around the lake has been reduced, and the number of parking spaces at the entrances to RSC Jarun on three sides has been increased.

He said that traffic for cars remains in one direction, which was introduced during the time of the previous mayor; however, as we have this weekend - a car-free weekend, the last weekend of every month - will be a car-free weekend and only people will be able to enter the RSC Jarun complex licensed vehicles - official and those for the needs of sports clubs operating within the Jarun complex.

Tomašević said that the transitional period would be one year, after which they plan to completely ban traffic for all vehicles that do not have a license so that RSC Jarun would become the largest new pedestrian and bicycle zone in Zagreb.

"So, for Earth Day, in a year, we expect this transitional period of traffic regulation to end, and that from then on, only vehicles with a permit can enter," Tomašević said.

Significantly expanded bicycle path

Deputy Mayor Danijela Dolenec reminded that the works on the reconstruction of Aleja Matija Ljubek opened at the beginning of February. Even then, they said it was a historical reconstruction of that thoroughfare because it had never been renovated since its creation 40 years ago. She pointed out that the works were used to significantly improve the entire traffic regulation on the lake and to announce the future direction of that regulation.

She noted that there are three main features of the new traffic regulation. The two-way bike path has been significantly expanded and is now on the lake's inner edge, making it much safer. It is also separated by a protective belt along the entire road along the lake.

Also, many parking spaces around Lake Jarun were removed, and new parking spaces were opened at several locations at the entrances to the lake. New parking spaces were created on Hrvatskog Sokola Street, a parking lot was opened next to the entrance to the lake, and a parking lot was arranged on the south side of the lake on Petrovaradinska Street.

The key novelty they want to promote is the bus line. Dolenec said that there was a bus line 113 from Remiza that ran around Hrgovići and turned at Hrgovići Street, and now it makes a circuit around the lake on weekends. There are 11 bus stops in total. "It is another way in which we promote the idea of public transport and, above all, the use of Lake Jarun as a recreation center," said Dolenec.

She also pointed out that the result of the cooperation with the coalition partner SDP agreed upon in the city budget for 2023 is that the City ordered two studies - the spatial programming of RSC Jarun and the lake desilting study. They hope to have these two studies by the end of the year, which will further enable activities on improving RSC Jarun.

Dolenec also announced that the Rowing World Cup would be held on Jarun next weekend.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Osijek Joins the Night of Fortresses Croatia Cultural Event

May 3, 2023 - The cultural and tourist event Night of Fortresses takes place at established monuments of cultural heritage in the territories of Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina - three countries included in the Interreg IPA CBC HR-BA-ME program area.

As SiB writes, the first edition of the regional cultural event Night of Fortresses, was held at the end of April 2022. The organizers of this unique event are partners in the FORTITUDE project: Fortress of Culture Šibenik, City of Banja Luka, City of Karlovac, and Municipality of Bar.

The FORTITUDE project aims to improve the cultural and tourism offer in cities with established heritage in the cross-border area of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro and to raise awareness of the potential and importance of the valorization of cultural heritage as a generator of cultural tourism development. For this reason, the strategically important goal of the project is to strengthen networking and cooperation among managers of established heritage in cross-border areas by launching a new joint initiative - a cross-border cultural event called the Night of Fortresses.

Accordingly, in cooperation with the Museum of Slavonia, the Osijek Fortress Reconstruction Agency is organizing an appropriate program on Friday, May 5, 2023, on the eve of the Night of Fortresses event.

The Museum of Slavonia offers free entry to all visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Visitors can view the exhibitions "Painting: the Technique of Painting Walls with Stencils and Rollers"; "Goodbye Kuna, Good Morning Euro!" and the newly opened guest exhibition "MUO in Slavonia, Slavonia in MUO," created in cooperation with the Museum of Arts and Crafts from Zagreb. Also, museum publications will be available at a reduced price in the museum souvenir shop.

At 6:00 p.m., a guided tour of the Osijek Fortress begins with the tourist guide Stanislav Subotić. Stories about the Fortress will bring interesting facts about historical figures and events and the purpose of certain buildings, such as the Magistrate's building, which today houses the Museum of Slavonia. The Osijek Fortress was built on the model of the lowland Dutch military fortifications, and the Austrian military authorities started the planned construction after the liberation of the city from Ottoman rule at the beginning of the 18th century. The starting point of the guided tour is the Votive Statue on Holy Trinity Square.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Mediterranean Cities in Danger - Zagreb Urban Planning Conference

May 3, 2023 - Mediterranean cities are in danger of droughts, fires, heat waves, and water shortages, so the cooperation of all countries in the area is needed to combat the consequences of climate change, the Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) warned.

"For the inhabitants of the Mediterranean basin, this is alarming. In addition to the fact that the region is susceptible to climate change, it also has one of the fastest rates of urbanization in the world," said Erdal Sabri Ergen, head of transport and urban development at UfM, reported Poslovni (Hina).

Turkish diplomat Sabri Ergen, who will participate in the 3rd Ministerial Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean on sustainable urban development in Zagreb on Thursday, announced the event with a text titled "Green cities will save lives."

"Cities in the Mediterranean region are already dangerously exposed to the impacts of climate change, including water shortages, droughts, forest fires, and heat waves. In addition, they face increasing threats from rising sea levels, coastal flooding, and storms," he stated.

Zagreb to host an urban planning conference

In recent weeks, droughts and fires have raged in Spain, Portugal, and France, where temperatures are at July levels. The Mediterranean Sea and its coasts are warming 20 percent faster than the world average, so it is the second most threatened area after the Arctic in the north, according to data from the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

"That's why we call for more energetic international cooperation to encourage sustainable development, where cities must be at the center of action," added Sabri Ergen.
The Union for the Mediterranean, an intergovernmental organization based in Barcelona, includes all the countries of the European Union and the countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, a total of 43 of them.

The Zagreb meeting of the ministers in charge of urban planning is the third such meeting after those held in Cairo in 2017 and Strasbourg in 2011. Five years ago, the Union for the Mediterranean presented its urban agenda, and to fulfill its goals, it launched an action plan. It is the framework that all countries should adhere to in implementing policies to reduce urban and underwater pollution, build energy-efficient homes, provide water for citizens, preserve historical landmarks, and implement sustainable tourism.

"Looking forward, the UfM countries have embarked on implementing an ambitious action plan for the further progress of sustainable urban development in the region. Measuring progress will be key, and as part of the 'Strategic Action Plan for Urban Development 2040', we have established indicators for monitoring and reporting on the progress achieved," said Sabri Ergen.
Urban areas cover only 2 percent of the world's land, but they produce 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and use 78 percent of the world's energy.

"Our cities leave a huge mark on the environment," emphasized Sabri Ergen.

He notes that there are more benefits to sustainable urban development. The health organization ISGlobal estimates that cities in Europe could prevent up to 43,000 premature deaths each year if they followed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on access to green spaces.

"Through our recent collaboration with the WHO, we are promoting healthier and more pleasant cities that prioritize the well-being of their residents," said Sabri Ergen. "The effect of this partnership will be highlighted during the ministerial conference in Zagreb on Thursday," he added.

The conference should be attended by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, European Commissioner for EU Funds Elisa Ferreira, and UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel, as well as Croatian Minister of Spatial Planning Branko Bačić.

Sabri Ergan says that one of the key areas of discussion will be the lack of energy efficiency in buildings.

"Today, buildings and structures generate 37 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. This takes us away from achieving the ambitious goal of complete decarbonization by 2050 because by then, global energy consumption in the construction sector will double, and the need for cooling in buildings will triple," he warned.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

Long Weekend in Croatia Brings 40 Percent More Tourists Than Last Year

May 3, 2023 - For the long weekend connected with Labor Day, from April 28 to May 1, there were 256,000 registered tourists and more than 890,000 overnight stays in Croatia, which is an increase of over 40 percent compared to the same period last year, reported Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) on Tuesday.

As 24Sata writes, data on tourist arrivals and overnight stays around Labor Day show that 49 percent more tourists came to Croatia this year than at the same time last year, while there were 42 percent more overnight stays, according to HTZ based on data from the eVisitor system.

Tourists spent the most nights in Istria, Kvarner, and the Split-Dalmatia County, more precisely in Dubrovnik, Poreč, Rovinj, Umag, Zagreb, and Split.

Commenting on these data, HTZ director Kristjan Staničić pointed out that this year's tourism results are the best announcement of the main summer season and that Croatia is an increasingly attractive year-round destination.

"After Croatia's entry into Schengen, this year it is also a more accessible destination for short and frequent weekend trips. Around Labor Day, the most numerous tourists were Slovenians, Poles, Austrians, Germans, and Italians, and there were also quite a few Dutch and British", says Staničić.

HTZ is also satisfied with the results in the first four months of this year, according to which there were 2 million tourists and 5.9 million overnight stays, which is 28 and 17 percent more than in the same months last year, as well as 4 percent more overnight stays. than 2019

In addition to domestic tourists, by the end of April this year, most foreign tourists arrived from Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, the UK, and the USA, and most of them in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Split, Poreč and Opatija.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, is satisfied that the positive trends since the beginning of the year have continued over the long weekend, which she considers an additional confirmation that Croatia is desirable outside of the summer months.

"We are particularly pleased that tourists increasingly recognize the attractiveness and the offer of continental counties, which almost all achieve better results than in 2019. This all favors the fulfillment of strategic goals - the development of year-round and more regionally balanced tourism," said the minister, who is optimistic for the upcoming main part of the tourist year.

HTZ also presents data for April this year, in which there were 1.1 million tourists and 3.3 million overnight stays in Croatia, which are increases of 26 and 16 percent compared to last April.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Croatian Atlantic Group Enjoys Rapid Revenue Growth

May the 2nd, 2023 - The well known and wildly successful Croatian Atlantic Group (Grupa) headed by Emil Tedeschi has experienced rapid revenue growth. The plan is for that to continue.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the first quarter of 2023, the Croatian Atlantic Group recorded sales revenue in the enormous amount of 215.6 million euros, which represents a growth of 16.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Under the influence of significant price increases in a wide range of business activities, profit before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) decreased by 12.2 percent and amounted to 20.9 million euros, while net profit in the first three months of this year decreased by 20.4 percent and amounts to 9.6 million euros.

"In the first quarter of 2023, the Croatian Atlantic Group achieved strong sales growth in all business and distribution areas and across all of the major markets in which it operates. The prices of raw materials and packaging materials, logistics and other services and energy are still at high levels, which, as we announced, affected profitability, and the drop in profitability was partially mitigated by optimising internal resources and increasing product sales prices. With the strength of our brands and our people, operational efficiency and with investments in digitisation, modernisation and business sustainability, we're ready for further growth,'' said the President of the Management Board of the Atlantic Group, Emil Tedeschi.

The largest growth of 34.0 percent was achieved by the Strategic Business Area (SBA) Sweet and Savory, whose leading brands are Smoki and Najlepse zelje (The most beautiful wishes), under the influence of assortment optimisation, increased marketing activities and a better price position of products compared to the competition. This area is followed by SPP Pice (Drinks) with the leading brand being Cedevita and growth standing at 23.8 percent, and SPP Kava (Coffee) with the brands Barcaffe and Grand coffee, and growth of 14.5 percent. Among the distribution areas, neighbouring Serbia leads the way with growth of 24.0 percent and Croatia has experienced growth of 20.0 percent.

When it comes to the Croatian Atlantic Group's total sales, principal brands account for 27.1 percent, Farmacia accounts for 9.4 percent, while its own brands account for 63.5 percent of sales revenue. With a share of 20.1 percent in total sales revenue, coffee stands out as the largest single category of all.

Cooperation with Podravka

Back at the end of March this year, the Croatian Atlantic Group and the well known Podravka Group agreed on cooperation across the pond in the United States of America and much closer to home in nearby Austria. The two large domestic companies introduced a unique practice of mutual export support, which implies that the Atlantic Group's distribution company in Austria will provide support for the placement of Podravka's products on the Austrian market, and at the same time, Podravka will market Atlantic's products on the US market through its company located over in the USA. The goal of this cooperation is to maximise mutual synergies by strengthening the product placement of both companies and raising the recognition of their brands, using their already very well developed business network and the enviable market positions that Atlantic and Podravka have on these markets.

For more, make sure to check out out dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Croatian Company Infinum Enters EBRD's Blue Ribbon Programme

May the 2nd, 2023 - The impressive Croatian company Infinum has entered into the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's Blue Ribbon programme.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the well known Croatian company Infinum has joined the EBRD's Blue Ribbon programme for small and medium-sized enterprises, where the emphasis will be primarily placed on supporting the ESG component of business, the EBRD reported last week.

As part of the development plans, the Croatian company Infinum intends to put a greater focus on ESG components, including the formalisation of environmental and social policies, as well as the strengthening of corporate governance throughout the group. The Blue Ribbon programme will provide comprehensive advisory support, which this time will also include an ESG component, the press release regarding the joining of this domestic IT company to EBRD pointed out.

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) are non-financial indicators that relate to company strategies and policies when it comes to the environment, society and governance, whereby the obligation to report compliance with these principles is increasingly being created.

Infinum is otherwise the fourth Croatian company to join the Blue Ribbon programme, which includes 82 small and medium-sized companies from as many as 28 different countries.

Membership in the programme for high-potential local SMEs typically lasts five years and includes a range of advisory services selected based on their individual business needs, as well as potential funding.

For more on Croatian companies, entrepreneurs and innovation, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Whales in Croatia? Check Out This Incredible Video Footage

May 2, 2023 - Are there whales in Croatia? Indeed. An almost unreal video was taken near the island of Vis, where a dozen whales were filmed. These were fin whales headed from the direction of Lastovo towards Barjaci. It is a species protected by law and on the list of endangered species.

Draško Holcer from the Blue World Institute, senior curator of the Croatian Museum of Natural History, explained for N1, as reported by 24Sata, that this is the only species found in the Mediterranean.

"It is a species that uses the entire Mediterranean area; they feed there, circle it in search of food, and appear at different times of the year where their food can be found. They enter the Adriatic mainly in the spring because, in the area of the Jabuka basin, a larger amount of small planktonic shrimp appear on which they feed, and that is when we most often record their appearance in the Adriatic", said Holcer.

He added that people perceive this species as special, specific, and strange because these animals mostly stick to the open sea and cannot be seen from land, in canals, etc.

"Fin whales in the Adriatic are not animals that have gone astray, following ships or something similar. They are animals for which the Adriatic is part of their normal habitat and where they appear during feeding time", said Holcer.

The fin whale is the second largest animal on earth. Holcer says they are an endangered species in the Mediterranean Sea.

"The estimated number of adults is only a little more than 1,700, so their number is minimal", said Holcer.

He also discovered that this species in the Mediterranean Sea has one specificity.

"Although the fin whale is a species that inhabits all the seas and oceans of the world, individuals in the Mediterranean Sea are genetically different from their closest relatives in the Atlantic. Therefore, it can be said that they are purely Mediterranean animals. They don't migrate outside that area", he added.

He pointed out that the biggest problem for fin whales in the Mediterranean is that it is one of the busiest areas in the world.

"A lot of shipping traffic takes place here. Collisions with ships are one of the most common reasons for the death of these animals. More than 20 percent of dead animals stranded on the coast of France were killed precisely because of collisions with vessels. A few years ago, there was a case where we saw two whales near Lošinj, one of which had cuts on its back from a large propeller", warned Holcer.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

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