Zadar continues to be a leader in sustainable fisheries: in two years the new graduate study and the on-line course for blue sector needs have been established and implemented, through EU-funded project
The final conference of the BLUE SMART project was held on 11th December in the assembly hall of the University of Zadar. The project partners presented the project's implementation path and two main achievements: the first graduate study in biotechnical science at the University of Zadar and the on-line course for blue economy employees.
In the introductory part of the presentation, project manager Tomislav Šarić from the University of Zadar presented the data on the growth of aquaculture and stagnation of fisheries in the last 20 years which led to the fact that today a larger amount of organisms is produced in aquaculture than is fished from all world seas. He pointed out that these data emphasize the need to educate experts who will develop fisheries and aquaculture with the sustainability and nature protection approach in the future.
In the academic year 2017/2018 the Department of Ecology, Agronomy and Aquaculture of the University of Zadar launched the new graduate study "Sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems" which gives young experts an opportunity to learn about the worldwide discussed issues on sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture. The establishment of the graduate study was the first specific goal of the Blue Smart project. The second goal was the creation of the on-line course "Basics of Good Practice in Fisheries", which was designed as additional education for people already employed in the blue sector or those who want to work in the sector.
This autumn, the second generation of students has enrolled, and the fact that all quotas are filled shows the desire of Croatian students to learn about new trends in the world economy, such as sustainability. Also, the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia has recognized the importance and quality of this study, giving 10 new students an opportunity to study this attractive program with all the student rights for free.
Nino Perović, one of the first generation students, said: "The great advantage of this study is that it allows enrolment of extra-curricular students, which enables additional education for those already working in the industry. Also, I think the acquisition of new knowledge is necessary to keep pace with the accelerated development of the blue economy."
Upon completion of the study, students gain the title of Master of Sustainable Management of aquatic ecosystems. To successfully complete the Master's degree, students must pass exams in various subjects such as: Water environment protection, Fisheries and environment, Applied aquatic ecology, Biomimicry, Sociology of Local Communities, Marine protected areas (MPA) management, Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, and many other related subjects.