Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Opuzen School Kids Remove Plastic from Neretva River Mouth

November the 30th, 2021 - A group of Opuzen school kids spent the recent World Childrens' Day cleaning up plastic waste from the Neretva river mouth as a way to protect an honour their environment.

It's not exactly news that the European Union (EU) as a bloc has been trying to crack down harder on plastic waste, with many companies banning plastic straws, cups and even bags unless they're able to be used time and time again. A group of Opuzen school kids are aware of just how damaging plastic waste is to the environment, taking an incredibly long time to break down, and have sought to protect their local river, the famous Neretva, from harm.

As Morski writes, on the occasion of the World Children's Day, an action of cleaning the Neretva river mouth of plastic waste was organised. More specifically, the action in which Opuzen school kids became young environmentalists took place in the Special Ornithological-Ichthyological Reserve.

The world is already so polluted with plastic that each of us eats at least five grams of plastic a week in our food which corresponds to the size of one whole bank card. The horror is all the greater if we know that we get all the plastic into the body through eating a very basic, regular diet.

This was the guiding thought of last week's action of cleaning up the Neretva river mouth, in which, in addition to the Regional Agency DUNEA, the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Areas of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the Biom Association, local children from Opuzen which is situated along the river participated.

At the beginning of the action, a short educational presentation was held about the reserve located within the Neretva Valley and about the pollution of the sea with plastic and other harmful waste. After that, the participants put on their gloves and went into action. The praiseworthy efforts of these Opuzen school kids working to keep the Neretva river mouth safe and clean will more than likely be repeated soon.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Neretva Mandarin Harvest Begins!

September 26, 2021 - The Neretva mandarin harvest begins with 40 thousand tons expected over the next three months! 

HRT reports that the harvest of the earliest varieties of Neretva mandarins has begun. About forty thousand tons will be harvested in three months. However, fruit growers expected a better price - 3.5 kuna for first-class and 2.5 kuna for the second class is too little because mandarins are of better quality than last year.

The Bostanac area in the heart of the Neretva can only be reached by water. But farmers who have plantations there are privileged because mandarins ripen the earliest there.

"Fresh water and the special micro-climate affects its ripening," said mandarin producer and buyer Gradimir Seselj.

The young Deak family in Bostanc harvests the earliest variety of mandarin - zorica rana or zoran. All are sweet and delicious.

"So everyone jokes with me that I am good because I am the first variety of mandarin that is usually the best price," said Zorana Deak from Vlaka.

Most of the mandarins will be sold to purchase centers. Manufacturers already have objections to the first purchase price of 3.5 kuna for the first class because they know from experience that it will not last long.

"If the first mandarin cannot be paid 4 kuna to the producer, it is zero. We know what is happening in the next five, six, seven days; the price of mandarins will be where they will be," said the vice president of the Croatian Fruit Growing Association, Neven Mataga.

More than a thousand family farms, crafts, and companies are engaged in the production of mandarins, and many others are involved in the most lucrative business in Neretva.

"This means that we need about a thousand pickers a day. We also need 400-500 workers in packing houses and calibrators, and that is a serious number," added Robert Doko.

Most pickers come every day from the border area of neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. They can only be in Croatia twelve hours a day.

"I've been here for twenty years. I harvest from one man, we are satisfied with our work," said Zlata Borovac, a mandarin picker from Trebižat, BiH.

Is it hard to pick mandarins?

"Well, it's not; the mandarins are neat, so it's not difficult to pick them," said Mirjana Komšić, a mandarin picker from Bobanovo, BiH.

In the next three months, the harvest should yield forty thousand tons of mandarins. If everything goes according to plan - about 150 million kuna should flow into the Neretva valley. And it has only just begun.

You can watch the full video on HRT.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Grant Agreement Signed For Composting Plant in Metković

ZAGREB, 26 March, 2021 - A HRK 12.5 million EU grant agreement for the construction of a composting plant in the southern town of Metković was signed on Friday by Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Ćorić and the director of the local Čistoća waste management company, Tomislav Jakić.

The project, which will be implemented as part of the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020, is worth more than HRK 24 million, of which 50% is co-financed by the EU.

Ćorić said that the composting plant would serve Metković as well as Opuzen and neighbouring communities.

The plant's annual capacity is 5,000 tonnes and it guarantees that biodegradable waste in the River Neretva valley will be managed in the best way possible, said the minister.

Dubrovnik-Neretva County head Nikola Dobroslavić said that Metković was the most advanced local government unit in terms of waste management.

For more about ecology in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 12 August 2019

VIDEO: Watch Amazing Footage of Recent ''Maraton Lađa'' from Above!

August the 12th, 2019 - Maraton lađa is a traditional amateur boat race which takes place on the Neretva river in southern Dalmatia.

These vessels are called ''lađe'' (pronunciation: plural: ladje/singular: ladja), which are narrow boats which hail from the lower part of the Neretva river. The lađe were once used to transport not only people, but farming products, animals, equipment and other items along not just the Neretva river but along the typically narrow rivers which connect to it.

Various celebrations and gatherings, such as both the weddings and funerals of local people were also known to be facilitated by lađe.

In an effort to keep tradition alive, Maraton lađa has become of huge significance to the Neretva valley and the surrounding areas, and many would claim that what the famous Gondola is to Venice, lađe are to the Neretva valley. As such, each and every year on the second Saturday in the month of August on a 22.5 kilometre course, this sporting event naturally attracts crowds of locals and tourists alike.

In order to cement the traditional and historical importance of the Neretva's lađe, the very first ''Maraton lađa'' was organised and held way back in 1998, and the distance travelled along the water took the vessels from the town of Metković to Ploče. 

The most recent Maraton lađa, which drew an impressive 40,000 spectators down to the banks of the Neretva river to watch, saw Gusari Komin win, reaching Ploče from Metković in two hours and ten minutes. Second place was taken by the Stabline team, and the third to the finish line in Ploče was the Crni put team.

Watch this great piece of footage of the most recent Maraton lađa captured from the air by Velimir Bešić: 

Velimir Bešić

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more information about Croatian traditions, Croatian folklore, and Croatia's incredible UNESCO heritage.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Croatian Navy to Participate in Traditional ''Maraton Lađa'' For First Time

The 22nd ''Maraton lađa'' on the Neretva river will see the participation of the Croatian Navy (Hrvatska Ratna Mornarica) for the very first time, those participating will be from the new HRM unit stationed in Ploče.

As Morski writes on the 9th of August, 2019, the 22nd Maraton lađa, which will be held on Saturday, August the 10th, 2019, will be further enriched with the participation of the Croatian Navy for the first time. The crew of the Croatian Navy who will partake consists of sixteen members.

In addition to the successful conduct of exercises and training activities, the Croatian Navy's members have been intensively preparing to participate in Neretva's traditional Maraton lađa since back in April this year. As part of their preparations for this boat marathon, the Croatian Navy team also participated in a series of preliminary races, including one in Zagreb, far from the Neretva river.

The participation of the Croatian Navy in the ship marathon is held in light of last year's return of the Croatian Army to the Neretva valley in southern Dalmatia.

Namely, since September 2018, a new barrack has been in function in Ploče, which houses the newly established unit, which has also provided the Croatian Navy with some new capabilities.

The return of the Croatian Armed Forces to southern Croatia is a function of security and assistance to the local community, civilian institutions, and the local population. In this sense, the initiative and active participation of the Croatian Navy's members in Maraton lađa came from the perspective of the development of close cooperation and cohabitation of the Croatian Army and the people from which the Croatian Army actually originated.

The Neretva river's traditional boat marathon is a cultural, sporting and tourist event and competition organised by the Association of the Neretva boatmen, which preserves the tradition and identity of the southern Croatian people who are from the areas in and around the Neretva valley in Dalmatia. The competition is conducted from the town of Metković to Ploče, on a route which is 22.5 kilometres in length.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.