Zadar aquaculture

Sustainable aquaculture project: Bringing smart fish farming to Croatia

Norway and Croatia can learn from each other in making aquaculture smarter and greener thanks to EEA and Norway Grants. While Norway is a world leading country in the field, Croatia has a strategic geographical location and potential for growth within the sector. Both aspects come together under the project implemented by Zadar University.

About the project  

Aquaculture continues to grow rapidly globally and the key to success is known to be responsible management at all levels. Through the project “COperation for the ADVancement of Aquaculture in Norway and Croatia – COADVANCe” both Norway and Croatia will benefit largely from exchange of expertise and technology, and it will pave the way for more responsible and efficient aquaculture practices that benefit both people and the planet. The project is funded by the Bilateral Fund of the Grants and implemented in partnership between University of Zadar and the Arctic University of Norway.

Earlier this May the Norwegian Embassy, together with Zadar County, gathered experts and businessmen from both Croatia and Norway to a successful conference about sustainable aquaculture. The conference was a strategic starting point for the bilateral collaboration on sustainable aquaculture, and as two of the best countries in the aquaculture industry in Europe, their collaboration will contribute to the development of a more sustainable and responsible aquaculture in Europe and beyond.  

The COADVANCe bilateral project builds on this cooperation and complements it with additional layer of knowledge and expertise exchange between the two countries. Its goal is to share a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to aquaculture that can address the growing demand for seafood while reducing the impact on the planet.

Smart fish farming is an innovative approach to aquaculture, using technology such as sensors and automation to improve productivity and reduce costs, while also reducing the environmental impact. Norway implements various advanced technologies which have improved the quality of production but also decreased the negative impact on environment.

Currently the focus is on management of pathogens and parasites, improvement of fish health and welfare, circular economy and full automation of production. To do so, Norwegian industry has developed and/or taken in use number of innovative types of production systems and smart solution for better monitoring and control of production.

Zadar aquaculture

Project kickoff 

The official kickoff meeting for the partners has already been held at the University of Zadar in May, where both Norwegian and Croatian researchers participated in a workshop. The workshop was used to discuss the most interesting topics related to the challenges in development of sustainable aquaculture. All the topics were discussed and compared between the Croatian and the Norwegian partners. Through the workshop the partners got introduced to each other, they had the opportunity to discuss the project objectives and to present their expectations, expertise, and contributions to the project.

There was also time for a field visit to the fish farming company Cromaris, who is a leading company in production and processing of high-quality Mediterranean fish. As the sixth biggest company in the world in farming of sea bass and seabream, it was very useful for the Norwegian partners to get an insight in how fish farming is done here in Croatia and how they also focus on freshness, sustainable production, and premium quality. Even though they produce different kinds of fish types, they have the same common challenges as disease prevention. Overall, the workshop successfully set the groundwork for the project ahead.  

In the next stages of the project the Croatian representatives will travel to Norway.