How Clean is the Adriatic Sea?

Katarina Anđelković

how clean is the adriatic sea, generic image

August 17, 2023 – It is Croatia’s most treasured and most beautiful pearl, but how clean is the Adriatic Sea exactly? Dr. sc. Martin Andreas Pfannkuchen, head of the Center for Marine Research of the Ruđer Bošković Institute, stated that the Adriatic Sea cannot be the cleanest on the planet but that the situation is good enough. He warned of the threat to biodiversity and the loss of important habitats.

As HRT writes, the Center for Marine Research, whose headquarters are in Rovinj, is an interdisciplinary research center focused on fundamental and applied oceanographic research, which includes ecological, physiological, and genetic research of marine organisms and monitoring of pollution and sea quality.

The Adriatic Sea, as part of the Mediterranean, is a closed sea; the population around the Mediterranean is quite large. All the rivers that flow into the Mediterranean have a lot of industry around them, so it cannot be the cleanest part of the sea on our planet. But it’s still good enough for now, said Pfannkuchen in HTV’s show Dobro jutro, Hrvatska.

When asked about this year’s cases of sewage being released into the sea, he that sewage discharge accumulates in the Adriatic.

“We have this problem that the Adriatic is an appendix. Everything that spills stays in there,” he added.

If we want to protect the sea, we have to be careful about what we release into the environment

Pfannkuchen also said that we live in a time of relatively rapid and dramatic climate change, which is leaving its mark on biodiversity.

He noted that we must be aware that everything we do on land eventually ends up in the sea through rain and rivers, which have to take it in. The more biodiversity you have, the greater the possibility that everything will be absorbed in the sea – but there are limits to this.

“Currently, we see that we have come quite close to the limit when the biodiversity that should be there is changing relatively dramatically,” said Pfannkuchen.

He also warned that there has been a loss of important habitats in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.

If we want to protect the sea, we have to be careful what we release into the environment, he said.

“Not only directly along the shores but also on land. This is the most important part for us, and it should be the biggest effort, that all wastewater and all waste – whether it is large, solid, or liquid waste – we need to have very good management. If we have that under control, then the sea will recover”, said Pfannkuchen.


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