Croatian Ministry of Tourism Infoday: the dolphins reserve good practice

The Croatian Ministry of Tourism held an Infoday within the INHERIT project on the island of Lošinj, Croatia, in cooperation with Mali Lošinj Tourist Board, the Ministry of Environment and Energy, The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation (BWI) and The Blue World Ltd, Veli Lošinj.

As an example of good practice, a workshopSustainable management of marine protected areas based on the proposal to establish the Lošinj Dolphin Reserve” and presentation “Adriatic dolphin project, synergy of science and nature protection" were held by BWI for stakeholders and participants (representatives of national and natural parks, tourism sector, local/regional authorities, NGO-s, representatives of hotel sector, local inhabitants and students of Ambroza Haračić High School from Lošinj).

Part of the Adriatic Sea in 2006 became the first Bottlenose Dolphin Reserve in the Mediterranean Sea, thanks to the BWI. Feeding, chasing or swimming with dolphins is prohibited by Croatian law.

The BWI’s “Adopt a dolphin” is a platform to sustain the Adriatic Dolphin Project, the longest running conservation research project in Croatia. By supporting this platform, BWI can finance its research and conservation activities for bottlenose dolphins and other dolphin species, as well as to increase public awareness at local and national levels. It also supports the Dolphin Day, educational programs, and promoting overall protection of the Adriatic marine environment.


The Blue World Institute of marine research and conservation (BWI) was founded in 1999 with the intention to carry out scientific research, promote environmental awareness and advance conservation projects in the Lošinj-Cres archipelago, Croatia, and the Adriatic region as a whole. It is based on the Croatian island of Lošinj with research stations on the Croatian islands of Murter and Vis where the BWI collaborate with local communities and also with national, regional and international institutions and organizations, to jointly advance sustainable management of the marine environment and the marine environment protection at the Mediterranean. The BWI was originally formed with the direct aim to take over the research and public awareness activities of the Adriatic Dolphin Project (ADP) which was initiated and managed by Tethys Research Institute. In 1998, when Tethys was about to close the project, researchers and local residents decided to breathe the new life into the activities since they recognized the contribution of the dolphin population for future development of the Lošinj municipality.

Apart from continuous development of new research activities, monitoring of coastal bottlenose dolphin in local communities in the Adriatic, collaboration with partners, and numerous educational activities, the BWI plans to identify,  establish and develop new conservation areas for sea turtles and bottlenose dolphins in the off-shore areas of the Adriatic, an aerial survey of cetacean and sea turtle abundance and distribution, the development of the Marine Science Museum  project, expanding management plans for Natura 2000 areas for bottlenose dolphins, and further involvement of the local communities in sea conservation work.