Within the WP T2 (Geoportal testing and demonstration: towards the plans), PP6-Institute for Physical Planning Region of Istria is responsible for implementation activity testing 2.2. „Threats to coastal & marine biodiversity – Step by step towards ecosystem based approach in marine NATURA 2000 site HR 3000003 Vrsar’s islands.“. The mentioned area administratively belongs the municipality of Vrsar-Orsera and the municipality of Funtana-Fontane, western coast of Istria County.
The main aims are increasing knowledge on threats to coastal & marine biodiversity for future action within MSP, ICZM and MSFD implementation, as well as gather existing scientific data or collect the new ones. The activity will include marine habitat mapping (882, 19 ha), terrestrial mapping on 20 island and cliffs (38, 56 ha), five GIS maps by using Geoportal and it is tools (cumulative impact) and analysis different descriptors for Good Environmental Status (GES).
The marine mapping will be done along transects perpendicular to coast, inside diving fields (183).
The basic prerequisite of safe diving is diving in a pair. Because of that, PP6-Institute for Physical Planning Region of Istria team will be consisted of pairs of one biologist diver and one diving instructor. The task of the biologist will be to note the basic biological characteristics of the area envisaged for mapping, and during the dive, to draw the distribution of particular habitats on a laminated map of the diving field, in concordance with the National Habitat Classification (NHC) and Habitat Directive (92/43/EEC). Before the dive, the instructor will has the task of making a diving plan, of taking care it is respected during the dive, and of photo-documenting the coastal line of the diving field in which the pair was working.
After the dives, the collected and analysed data will be entered into the databases. The time required for marine mapping are 46 days good weather conditions that will allow safe diving.
These activities started on March 1st 2019., and in the next few days the first underwater photos or videos of marine habitats or species will be published.