Adriatic Sea is for Croatia of inestimable economic importance. Further on, it is important for our historical, social and cultural heritage. Connection with the sea, from the early days to present, continually contributes to the quality of our lives and to our identity. Sea surface area over which Republic of Croatia has full sovereignty (territorial sea) and sovereign rights (exclusive economic zone) is approximately equal to our terrestrial surface area. Although, significant proportion of the GDP comes from the maritime industry and sea related services, available potentials are still higher than what is presently used. Namely, there is a wide span of priorities and possibilities for the use of the marine environment, its living and non-living resources, especially in relation to unexplored and unused potential, equally that of potentially renewable and non-renewable resources.
To enable reasonable and long-term sustainable use of potentials of the sea it is necessary to have knowledge about the marine environment, under sea world and especially about functioning of marine ecosystems. Only science can initiate development and enable practical application of cognitions derived from social, natural and biotechnological sciences related to the sea, and with the purpose of application of new and better solutions in economy. In this approach, unavoidable role is played by Universities in Croatia, which promote this concept of economic development and through systematic education of personnel enable its continuity. To achieve this, we need highly educated experts that will in close contact with European and global scientists search for best solutions for investigation and rational use of marine resources, enable sustainable exploitation of marine living resources, and direct regional development though comprehensive planning and adjustment of interests and needs of different users in space (e.g. tourism, transport, mariculture, traditional fishery etc.). Some of the above mentioned activities are not complementary and can have negative impacts on each other. Therefore, the national development strategy of every country requires experts that will know how to exploit the sea in sustainable way and for the well being of its inhabitants and marine ecosystems. This task can be achieved through systematic education that has following fundamental goals: (2) gaining understanding of the marine social sciences that will enable appropriate creation and application of legislation; (2) enabling prediction of changes in marine ecosystems as response to different impacts; (3) controlled and sustainable exploitation of marine resources, and (4) developing application of biotechnological processes in the exploitation of potentially renewable marine resources.
Estimate of purposefulness with respect to needs of research activities in public and private sector, especially in relation to scientific-research and technological development of the country and corresponding national strategic priorities
Nature of different jobs related to research, control and protection of marine ecosystem, as well as to the management and economy of its resources, requires hierarchical structure of personnel with respect to their level of competency for performing certain tasks, and that has to be a consequence of their knowledge and their skills. Doctoral study has the aim of educating personnel with higher competences and higher level of independent decision making. Proposed study program is in accordance with national long term and short term strategic priorities of the Republic of Croatia in which the Adriatic Sea is stated as one of the priorities for the research and with the purpose of planning and accomplishing economic development of the Republic of Croatia.
Foundation on competitive scientific investigations and competences needed for science based social development
Doctoral study in Applied marine sciences is by its contents prominently multidisciplinary. In this education cycle, on the basis of knowledge from the area of natural, particularly biological, chemical and physical oceanography, as well as from biotechnological sciences related to the sea, knowledge from specific areas necessary for establishing sustainable management and protection of the Adriatic Sea is built upon. Study will be organized at level of the new scientific findings and skills based upon them, in collaboration with scientific institutions that are involved in marine research - Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries from Split (IOF) and Institute for Marine and Coastal Research (IMCR) from Dubrovnik, what provides great possibilities for practical education of students. Scientific programs at IOF and IMCR enable participation of students in scientific work that is a base for applied marine sciences.
Establishing collaborative investigations and education based upon them between higher education institutions, scientific institutes, private and public business sector
Study will enable gaining competences in applied marine sciences in collaboration with two Universities, University of Split and University of Dubrovnik, and two scientific institutions involved in marine research, Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries from Split (IOF) and Institute for Marine and Coastal Research (IMCR) from Dubrovnik. In addition, field work will be conducted on research vessels Bios (IOF) and Naše more (University of Dubrovnik). Collaboration is also established with private sector that poseses facilities for preservation and processing of fish and other marine products, hatcheries and aquaculture sites for fish and bivalve production, including tuna culture sites, at which students will be introduced to technological processes currently applied in Croatia (see list under 4.7.).
Comparison with programs from respected international Universities
Interdisciplinary posgraduate studies in sciences related to the sea have long tradition at many Universities all around the globe. Students that finish such interdisciplinary programs gain knowledge that enables them to start working in scientific institutions, Universities as well as in private sector, non-governmental organizations involved in nature and environmental protection and other similar branches. Sucessful examples of such academic programs include:
University of Massachusetts Boston (http://umb.edu), USA, postgraduate program:
- PhD and MSc in Envoronmental Sciences
- PhD and MSc in Marine Science and Technology
University of Plymouth (www. plymouth. ac. uk), UK, two postgraduate majors:
- PhD and MSc in Envoronmental and Marine Sciences
- PhD and MSc in Applied Biology
University of Bangor (www.bangor.ac.uk), UK, academic programs:
- MSc in Ecology, Marine Mammal Sciences, Molecular Plant Breeding and Biotecnology
- PhD in Biological Sciences
University of Delaware (www.ocean.udel.edu), SAD, academic programs:
- MSc in Marine Studies, Marine Policy, Ocean Engineering, Marine Managament
- PhD in Marine Studies, Oceanography, Ocean Engineering
Agricultural university of Szczecin, (www.ar.szczecin.pl), Poland, academic programs:
- PhD and MSc in Food Science and Fisheries
Univerity of Olsztyn, (www.uwm.edu.pl), Poland, academic programs:
- PhD i Msc iz "Fisheries and Environmental protection"