I believe that the next year International Maritime Organization will support our suggestion and declare Adriatic as special sensitive sea area, and establishment of the Croatian Service for Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information System will contribute to the protection and navigation security, said captain Mario Babić, Assistant Minister, presenting Functional and Technical Study on Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Information System (VTMIS).
The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has started with establishment of the VTMIS system, which is in compliance with the Pre-accession maritime strategy and with the view to compliance Croatian regulations with the acquis communautaire. The project will be carried out with the EU's support through the PHARE 2005 programme, which was launched in January and is expected to last 16 months.
Establishment of the VTMIS system will enable managing maritime traffic, decreasing sea accidents, better search and rescue results, decreasing sea pollution by the ships, better managing port resources in port business and effectiveness enhancement with combined traffic. The project's phase I is worth about 1 million euros, wile the twinning is worth 600 thousand euros and it consists of strengthening Croatian administrative capacities, where Croatian partners, Italian and Finnish maritime administration, while 386 thousands euros is study cost, which defines technical, legislative and institutional framework for establishment such service in the Republic of Croatia. Today 80 per cent of inner sea water, territorial sea and Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone, are covered by the Automatic identification ship system, and by procurement radar and VHF equipment by 2010, we will cover the whole Adriatic area and cross linked with the Control maritime traffic system, which exists in the EU, said Babić. By his words, the second phase of the project will cost around 7 million euros and besides supply procurement, for which the tender will be announced in few days, consists of port authority staff education in order to qualify for VTMIS operators. According to the suggestion from the study, which was presented by the Italian consortium with Thetis, Rina Industry and D' Appolonia, the national contact service will be located in Rijeka, and regional centers are foreseen in Rijeka, for Pula, Rijeka and Senj area, and in Šibenik, for Zadar and Šibenik, while the third is planned in Split, for Split, Ploče and Dubrovnik area.