The project Hadriaticum Data Hub (HATCH) has started by holding the initial meeting of project partners in Udine. This project is capitalizing on results of the recently finished Interreg Italy-Croatia projects with the aim to harmonize chemical, physical, biological and ecological parameters from various monitoring programs and develop protocols for their application in Marine Spatial Planning, thus contributing to effective conservation of the Adriatic Sea.
Conservation of the Adriatic, a biodiversity hotspot, but also a fragile eco-system, depends on protection measures based upon multi-disciplinary, scientifically obtained knowledge. Various research programs conducted within the recently finished Interreg Italy-Croatia projects have significantly contributed to our knowledge of this basin but have also revealed some gaps. Namely, many indicators of conservation status are not standardized, which presents a problem in decision-making.
This is the main motivation behind the HATCH project – to exchange experiences and results from the past projects and develop protocols for standardization of data coming from diverse programs aimed at research and monitoring of microbiological, chemical and physical water quality, pollutants, underwater noise and conservation status of animal and plant species. Besides this, HATCH project will produce guidelines on the application of multi-disciplinary data in Marine Spatial Planning and develop proposals for the new cycle of research and monitoring to be conducted within the upcoming funding period of Interreg Italy-Croatia 2021-2027.
The project HATCH is a collaboration between the University of Udine as the lead partner, CORILA Consortium for coordination of research activities concerning the Venice lagoon system, Marche Region, Istrian university of applied sciences, Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation and University of Split as project partners. Besides project partners, additional three external partners will play significant role in implementation of project activities – CNR IRBIM and Marche Polytechnic University from Ancona and Municipality of Monfalcone.
The total worth of the project is 566 000 EUR and it is co-financed by the EU through ERDF and Interreg Italy-Croatia cross-border cooperation program. The project has started in June and will end in June 2023.