Thursday, 22 September 2022

Days in the Bay Hvar - Traditional Boats, Sea & Sailors Festival

September 22, 2022 - If there were one event to visit in Dalmatia to understand its soul and experience everything it offers, we would choose Days in the Bay. Occurring every two years in Stari Grad on Hvar, this unique festival celebrates the sea and sailors, their boats, and all the tradition tied to life on the waves of turquoise. The celebrations include regattas, contests and competitions, concerts and games, traditional wear, food, and music. The weekend of Days in the Bay truly is full of life in every sense of the expression.

Organised by the Association for the Promotion of Croatian Maritime Heritage "Cronaves" from Split, the City of Stari Grad and the Tourist Board of Stari Grad, from September 22 to 25, 2022, the 4th International Festival of Boats, Sea and Sailors, Days in the Bay will be held. The official press release was signed by Plamenko Bavčević, president of Cronaves and Antonio Škarpa, mayor of Stari Grad on the island Hvar, as reported by Slobodna Dalmacija.

Around 60 boats from Croatia are expected at the festival, organised by associations for the preservation of Croatian maritime heritage. Traditional boats will arrive from Rovinj, Pula, Mošćenička Draga, Opatija, Selce, Malinska, Krk, Mali Lošinj, Pašman, Drvenik, Prvić Šepurina, Betina, Murter, Jezera, Korčula, Vela Luka, Lovran, Opuzen, Komiža, Split, Vrboska and of the city of Hvar.

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The Republic of Sloveniaespeciallyartner country and especially honoured guest of this year's Days in the Bay. Organised by the nautical journal and the E Morje portal, the Republic of Slovenia will be represented by the crews of five traditional ships with the support of the "Sergej Maser" Maritime Museum, the Faculty of Maritime Affairs and Transport, the Society of Old Boat Lovers from Piran, the Society of Old Boats from Izola and the Tourist Boards of Izola and Portorož.

Along with the daily promotional sailings of all participants, as announced by the organisers, there will also be a rowing regatta of the Komiža gundulas. At the same time, the youngest citizens of Stari Grad will try their hand at rowing.

One of the festival's attractions at sea will be the traditional rowing in which the female crew of the Neretva ship and the Slovenian cannon "Folega" will participate, equally alongside the male crew of the Croatian Navy boat.

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In addition to a specially designed sailing program of a show and competition character, various exhibitions and lectures on the theme of Croatian maritime tradition will be held during this international festival, while cultural and entertainment programs strictly appropriate for this type of event will be held on the legendary Tvrdalj square.

The festival program will also hold a place for the delegations of Stari Grad's friend cities of Samobor and Rugvica. They will present their region's customs, local products and gastronomic delicacies to the festival visitors.

The festival program at sea ends on Saturday, September 24, 2022, with a big night parade, "Dance of Sails and Lights", with light effects and music, and on land with a concert by the ABBA real tribute band.

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"We are pleased that Days in the Bay have been recognised not only by Stari Grad but also by the Split-Dalmatia County, the Croatian Tourist Association and the relevant ministries of the Republic of Croatia. We also highly appreciate the exceptional contribution and response to participation in the festival by all associations and shipowners from Istria to the south of Croatia because only together can we create a cultural event that will be recognised beyond Croatian borders," said Plamenko Bavčević, president of the Cronaves Association.

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For the detailed program and to find accommodation on Hvar during the festival days, visit the Stari Grad Tourist Board's official website.

All photos courtesy of Dani u vali Facebook page.

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

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Istrian Seawater of Excellent Quality Except in Certain Areas

September the 22nd, 2022 - The Istrian seawater is of excellent quality, except for close to the beaches in popular destinations such as Umag, Porec, Rovinj and Fazana.

As Morski writes, the Istrian seawater quality was recently tested at beaches around Istria County. Istria County's Teaching Institute for Public Health conducted the ninth survey in a row from September the 5th to the 13th, 2022, where the Istrian seawater was sampled at 217 measuring points on the beaches from Savudrija to Brestova.

Air and sea temperatures are also normally recorded during this sort of sampling, and this time the sea temperature ranged from 23.0 ºC to 25.8 ºC, while the air temperature ranged from 17 ºC to 28 ºC.

At 210 measuring points, more specifically in 96.8% of the samples, and based on the individual results of microbiological indicators, the excellent quality of the Istrian seawater for swimming was recorded at 6 measuring points. In 2.8% of the samples taken, good seawater quality was recorded for swimming, and at 1 measuring point, so in a mere 0.5% of the samples taken, only satisfactory quality of the seawater for swimming was recorded.

Pursuant to Article 5 of the appropriate regulation, intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli are determined in sea samples as microbiological indicators of seawater pollution, and during the sampling procedures, meteorological conditions, sea temperature and salinity, and visible pollution are all also recorded.

Based on the results of testing the microbiological indicators for individual sampling, seawater quality for swimming is classified as excellent and marked with a circular symbol on the map in blue, good quality seawater is marked on the map in green, satisfactory is marked in yellow and unsatisfactory is marked in red.

As part of this regular ninth examination of the quality of the Istrian sewater for swimming, the results of the sampling of microbiological indicators on September the 6th, 2022 showed that at the Porec, Molindrio, Hotel Molindrio (below the hotel) measuring point, the indicators exceeded the limit values, that is, that microbiological pollution was indeed present there.

However, the results of re-sampling done on September the 7th, 2022 showed that the elevated values ​​of microbiological indicators were steadily decreasing, and the microbiological pollution for the aforementioned locations was characterised only in the short-term and therefore not officially included in the report.

Re-sampling carried out on September the 8th, 2022 showed the end of short-term pollution at the specified measuring point, and in the final report, the specified location was rated as good quality.

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

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Luxury Superyacht Spotted in Šibenik, Sails the Adriatic Islands

August 25, 2022 – Emerald Azzurra, a luxury superyacht of the Scenic Group sails the Adriatic. Spotted in Šibenik for the day, it sailed off to the Kornati islands. Its offer includes cruises with stops around several Croatian islands and coastal cities.

As reported by Tportal, after spending the day in Šibenik, the 110-meter luxury cruise ship Emerald Azzurra, with seven decks, two suites of 110 square meters and another 44 smaller suites with terraces and balconies and six luxurious cabins, set sail for Kornati.

TCN reported on the incredible story of Scenic Eclipse, the world's first polar discovery yacht cruiser, built in Croatia, christened by Dame Helen Mirren, and winner of the Cruise Critic Best New Luxury Ship 2019. A ship which is unique and setting the standards in high-end luxury cruise tourism. Read the full story here. 

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(Dame Helen Mirren christening Scenic Eclipse in New York)

The Emerald Azzurra is a luxury superyacht built this year in the Vietnamese shipyard Ha Long and the first transoceanic yacht of the Emerald Cruises company. It is owned by Glen Moroney, the Australian founder and chairman of the Scenic Group, which includes Emerald Cruises.

Better known for its fleet of contemporary riverboats, Emerald Cruises has embarked on its first venture into ocean cruising using its own custom-designed superyachts. Emerald Azzurra for one hundred passengers is the first one, and in 2023 Emerald Sakara should set sail. Seventy-three crew members caring for one hundred passengers. You can see what it looks like from the inside and what it offers here.

If you decide to take an eight-day Adriatic cruise from Venice to Dubrovnik with visits to Krk, Zadar, Šibenik, Hvar, Split, Korčula and Dubrovnik at this time next year, you will have to shell out 6,900 pounds (HRK 61,000) per person.

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

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Friends of Finnish Prime Minister Show Their Breasts to Jadrolinija Ferry

August 24, 2022 - The influencer who was photographed topless in the residence of the Finnish Prime Minister, Sabina Särkkä, also partied on the Croatian coast. This time, a lucky Jadrolinija ferry was greeted with a peek of her breasts.

As Index writes, on her TikTok profile, there is a video published in May this year, in which the pretty model, together with her friends, shows her breasts to the Jadrolinija ferry that passes by the ship they were on.

@sabinasarkka Tässä on ollut vähä kaikennäköistä @Julia Toivola #foryoupage @Lotta Soini @Dr. Rannisto ♬ alkuperäinen ääni - Sabina Särkkä

It seems that the girls had a good time on the Croatian coast, and for their gesture, the captain “rewarded” them with a honk of the ship's siren. Some users asked in the comments whether Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin had fun with them, but they did not get an answer.

The Finnish prime minister also apologised for the photo

As a reminder, a photo circulating on social media shows two influencers kissing, covering their bare breasts with the words “Finland” from the Prime Minister's official residence in Helsinki. The Finnish prime minister also apologised for that photo.

“I don't think the picture is appropriate. I apologise for that. There should not have been such a photo, but otherwise, nothing extraordinary happened at the party”, Marin told reporters, confirming that the sign was from her residence.

Marin (36) said that the photo was taken at a private party with her friends after a music festival in July. “We were in the sauna, bathing and spending time together”, Marin said about the party.

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

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Maritime Safety Action Results in 421 Thousand in Fines

August 11, 2022 – A safe tourist season is a good tourist season. Safety at sea is just as important as any other kind. A significant maritime safety action was conducted on Wednesday, August 10, resulting in hefty fines.

The Adriatic Sea remains safe, as the officials of the port authorities gave out fines in the total amount of HRK 421 thousand to violators who did not respect the prescribed sailing speeds in the unauthorized sea area.

As reported by Poslovni, as part of the "Safe navigation 2022 II" action in all port authorities, 368 inspections were carried out and 157 violations of regulations were found, for which the violators were fined HRK 421,000, as announced by the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure.

The second coordinated action of enhanced navigation surveillance lasted on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. across the Adriatic coast.

Eighty officers with 14 vessels from eight harbor master's offices and associated branches performed 360 inspections, finding 157 violations of regulations, based on the Maritime Code and the Rulebook on the Safety of Maritime Navigation.

Special attention was put on the inspection of passenger ships in national navigation, intended for one-day trips and multi-day cruises, whereby the validity of the ship's administration, the number of crew members, and certificates of qualification of the crew members were closely monitored.

Also, the officials of the port authorities gave out fines in the total amount of HRK 421,000 to violators who did not respect the prescribed sailing speeds in the unauthorized sea area.

Port authorities will continue to implement actions to increase the safety of navigation in the summer season, while maritime traffic is intensified, primarily with the aim of preventing maritime accidents and incidents, that is, sanctioning violators, which indicates the necessity of observing safety regulations during navigation, the Ministry of the Sea traffic and infrastructure points out.

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

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Highly Poisonous Silver-cheeked Toadfish Appears in Croatian Waters Again

July the 13th, 2022 - An extremely poisonous bony fish called the silver-cheeked toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus), sometimes also referred to as the Sennin-fugu, has appeared in Croatian waters recently.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a brand new species of fish appears in Croatian waters or in the wider Adriatic Sea seemingly every single week due to temperature changes. A few months ago, a fisherman near the island of Kosar near Pasman caught a poisonous fish, the highly poisonous and very dangerous silver-cheeked toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus), writes City magazine.

This is an extremely poisonous and deadly species, which contains the powerful thermostable poison tetrodotoxin in its muscles, liver and skin. Its consumption is prohibited in all European Union (EU) countries, but in Japan it is a gastronomic delicacy known as fugu, which is prepared according to special procedures due to its deadly poison.

It is believed that the thermostable poison this fish contains is several hundred times stronger than cyanide.

What kind of fish this actually is was discussed and further explained on N1 Croatia/Hrvatska, when Dr. Jakov Dulcic, the head of the laboratory for ichthyology and coastal fishing of the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Split, was asked about them.

"It's very widespread in the Indian Ocean, the Western Pacific and in the Red Sea. It is a Lessepsian migrant, which means that it reached the Mediterranean from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal. It's an extremely invasive species that has fully established its populations across the the Mediterranean (especially in its eastern part),'' explained Dr. Jakov Dulcic.

He added that this fish was first seen in Croatian waters close to the island of Jakljan near Dubrovnik back in 2012. Then it was found along the Albanian, Montenegrin and Croatian coasts.

The Institute warned swimmers and those fishing on social media that, if they do come across this deadly fish in Croatian waters, to avoid direct contact if possible, and if that is impossible, to handle it extremely carefully. In addition to the poison, this species has a strong jaw with sharp teeth, and its bite can cause serious injuries.

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

Saturday, 9 July 2022

Through Croatia with All Senses: From Sights to Bites

July 10, 2022 - As the Croatian peak season has started to roll out, tourists are arriving from all over the world, and most of them with a list of sights they must-see. Of course, Croatia is blessed with its gems and beauties every step of the way, but let me start this series by giving some insight into some delicate bites on the Adriatic. Activate your sense of taste and read through the culinary highlights that await you. 

Cheese

Regardless of the occasion, a delicacy that will surely be a good choice is cheese. Especially in Croatia, which has several award-winning local kinds of cheese, one should definitely grab the opportunity and order a plate. Probably the most famous is Pag cheese or 'paški sir’ made from the milk of local sheep on the island of Pag. Another very popular option would be cottage cheese and ‘prgica’ both made of cow’s milk or the native Lika ‘škripavac', which combines sheep's and cow's milk. And let's not forget, 'sir iz mišine', an unusual type of goat's milk cheese that is traditionally produced in the areas of Dalmatian Hinterland and Velebit. It will surprise you with its sheepskin packaging and distinct flavour.

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Tuna

While staying on the Croatian coast, you'll probably find grilled fish on your table at least once, usually served with potatoes and chard. However, what should be pointed out is that several experts consider the Adriatic Sea to be the optimal home to one specific type of fish –tuna. Some even declared the Adriatic tuna steak one of the best in the world. Moreover, you can actually find many other dishes using tuna. So, look out for it at a local restaurant and order one of the delicious tuna specialties.

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Squid

Besides fish, one should not visit the Adriatic coast and not try squid. Fried or grilled, both versions are a great catch and available on almost any menu. They are mostly served, again like fish, with potatoes and chard on the side. Just squeeze some lemon on the top and enjoy this typical taste of the Adriatic coast.

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Seafood, in general

One automatically associates the sun, the sea, and the Adriatic coast as the best parts of summer in Croatia. But seafood should also join this list if one really wants to enjoy their vacation tastefully as well. From prawns to clams, oysters, and mussels, they are all available fresh in many local restaurants daily. These specialties can be served in various ways, but most often as a seafood risotto or sometimes even with homemade pasta.

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Black risotto

As the pot of gold at the end of this 1st part of the series, the famous black risotto must be mentioned. Yes, its color is black not gold, and yes, it may not look as tasty as all the other delicacies, but one thing is for sure - those who have fallen in love with this specialty certainly think of it as golden. This risotto made of squid, squid ink, and local herbs will delight with its specific intense flavor. But a little tip on the side, watch your smile when trying this culinary experience because the black ink will probably make your lips and teeth a bit more colorful for a moment.

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Are you hungry yet? Take a walk through the streets of your chosen destination on the Adriatic coast and start looking for ideal places where you can finally order one of the mentioned specialties. After all, "love goes through the stomach" is not said in vain. In fact, well-prepared local dishes will surely strengthen your love for Croatia, so bon appetite - or how we say, “dobar tek”.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Marine Studies Expert Talks Sharks in the Croatian Adriatic Sea

July the 7th, 2022 - There are as many as 34 different types of shark living in the Croatian Adriatic Sea, and while that might cause some to gasp in horror and vow to never take another dip in the sparkling waters again, rest assured that shark attacks are extremely rare, and that the situation for Croatian waters is much safer than it is for many others.

A recent fatal shark attack in the Red Sea along Egypt's coastline which resulted in the tragic death of an Austrian woman has caused many to remember the dangers of the sea, but the Croatian Adriatic Sea is very safe, despite the array of sharks who call it home.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a Professor at the University Department of Marine Studies of the University of Split, Alen Soldo, was recently a live guest on N1 Studio and commented on the warming of the world's seas, the more frequent appearance of jellyfish, as well as sharks living in the Croatian Adriatic Sea.

Commenting on the fact that the sea is getting warmer, Professor Soldo said that these temperatures are unusual considering the time of year.

"If you look at the overall situation, there's been quite a long period of high air temperatures, low rainfall and a lack of winds that should help mix the upper, warmer layers of the sea with the lower, cooler ones. It's clear that this temperature is the result of this whole situation, and if these other things and circumstances don't change, we can expect that temperature to be even higher," warned Soldo.

Regarding the apparently more frequent reports of the appearance of jellyfish in Istria, he says that it isn't related to the warming of the sea.

"Jellyfish feed on planktonic organisms and it's likely that the amount of plankton in those waters is higher during this period," he said.

"Given the usual weather conditions for this time of year, it would be expected that the jellyfish would disappear and head off elsewhere, but in this situation we cannot guarantee that they'll leave. It's difficult to predict,'' he added.

When it comes to the question of just why are there more jellyfish appearing in the sea near Istria and Kvarner, he said that this is indeed a very unusual year, but that these animals are unlikely to cause any bother to humans.

He also briefly commented on the recent shark attack which resulted in the horrendous death of an Austrian woman who was swimming in Egypt's Red Sea.

"As far as the case in Egypt is concerned, knowing the history of those attacks, we can assume that the species responsible doesn't live in the Croatian Adriatic Sea," he explained, adding that he and a colleague of his from neighbouring Slovenia are currently working on a paper about sharks who live in the Adriatic and says that they have counted 34 species that live here permanently or occasionally come to the Adriatic.

"Out of those 34 species, only three are potentially dangerous, they are the Short-fin mako shark and the Porbeagle. The only problem here is that the Great White Shark tends to follow the schools of tuna. The last fatal attack occured in 1974, after that there was only one other attack in 2008 that was not fatal. The Croatian Adriatic Sea is much safer than other seas," explained Soldo.

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

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Only 20 Croatian Noble Pen Shells Left Alive in Adriatic Sea

May the 22nd, 2022 - There are only twenty living Croatian noble pen shells left in this country's part of the Adriatic Sea. A very important project is now underway to try to stop this shellfish from entering the history books entirely, from which it would likely never return.

As Morski/Bruna Rizvanovic writes, the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis) is a strictly protected species in the Republic of Croatia, and is on the Red List of critically endangered species due to mass deaths caused by parasites (Haplosporidium pinnae) and bacteria (Mycobacterium sp.). The first confirmation of the outbreak in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea was received back in 2019. The contagion spread and affected the entire Croatian part of the Adriatic. Unfortunately, the plague did not bypass Lastovo's surrounding waters either.

The goal of the project entitled "The conservation of the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis) in the Adriatic Sea" is to preserve and save this stunning Mediterranean endemic species of shellfish from extinction, and there are very, very few living specimens of the Croatian noble pen shell left to speak of. This praiseworthy project is being coordinated by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia, and is being funded by the Energy Efficiency Fund.

The project funds are intended for the implementation of in situ activities, such as setting up collectors for larvae, searching the seabed for living Croatian noble pen shell individuals and ensuring their full protection with the use of cages, shielding them from predators and anthropogenic impact, as well as further education. It also includes ex situ activities such as the placement of live individuals in controlled systems, their maintenance, and running laboratory diagnostics.

Currently, there are about 20 living Croatian noble pen shell individuals in this country's part of the Adriatic Sea, and marine searches for more are still ongoing. This week, the research team of the Croatian Veterinary Institute and the staff of the Lastovo Islands Nature Park have set up collectors to receive larvae in the waters surrounding Lastovo, which will be inspected in October. The collectors installed at six locations are located at a depth of 10 to 15 metres below the surface and are marked on with red buoys. If you spot them on your sailing route, be careful and make sure to totally avoid them.

If a Croatian noble pen shell is discovered and is potentially alive, you should very, very gently pass your hand over it through the water, and if it is alive, the shell will close itself in response to the disturbance. Care should be taken not to touch the individual and to disturb it as little as possible. You should then report your finding and its location by clicking this link.

Any intentional extraction of living or dead individuals is strictly prohibited by Croatian law.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

'Extinct' Angelshark Returns to Adriatic

ZAGREB, 27 March 2022 - Three years ago, shoppers at the fish market at Zagreb's Dolac open-air farmers market noticed a baby Angelshark, which made conservations both excited and worried.

The Angelshark is one of the calmest and most endangered shark species, considered to be nearly extinct in the Adriatic.

The juvenile Angelshark at Zagreb's Dolac market "indicated that there exists a breeding population", however, it was worrying that "an endangered and strictly protected species was offered for sale," said Pero Ugarković, an associate on a research project on Angelsharks in the Adriatic.

After that discovery, a research was launched to establish how many Angelsharks currently live in the Adriatic.

The project was headed by the WWF Adria non-profit organisation, in cooperation with the Split-based Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries.

Its results show that the Angelshark population, once inhabiting the whole of the Adriatic, has shrunk dramatically and now mostly inhabits the area around the island of Molat in the Zadar archipelago.

Minding its own business

The Angelshark resembles the skate and is a master of camouflage. It buries itself in sediment and ambushes its prey, and can grow to be more than a metre and a half long. It lives in the Mediterranean and East Atlantic but is critically endangered in all of its habitats.

More than 30 shark species have so far been recorded in the Adriatic, and almost all are innocuous to humans. The size of the Angelshark population in the Adriatic was once significant, with fishermen even using nets designed specifically for Angelsharks.

This has not been the case for decades now, and footage of Angelsharks being caught accidentally and returned to the sea, occasionally posted on social networks, gives rise to hope that the Angelshark will survive.

The species grows slowly, reaches reproductive age late in life and has a small litter, therefore making it very vulnerable to fishing pressures. On top of that, it inhabits shallow coastal waters where fishing is very intense. After it was declared a protected species, the Angelshark went from being a target species, to a bycatch.

Patrik Krstinić, an associate for sea and marine biodiversity protection at WWF Adria, warns that fishing with trawl nets and gillnets poses the biggest threat to the Angelshark. He believes that the Angelshark is unlikely to survive with the existing pressure of fishing in Croatia's coastal area.

Krstinić says that maritime spatial planning is necessary and that currently 30% of the sea should be put under protection until 2030, of which 10% should be strictly protected, with no fishing activity allowed, citing that the Jabuka Pit as a good example.

Deficient legal regulations are the problem, he says, noting that they make it possible for an area to be put under protection, yet some are allowed to fish in it.

Krstinić notes that the silver lining in this situation is that without human influences in an area, its biodiversity can be restored very quickly.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

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