Zadar has a centuries-old university tradition, the longest in Croatia: following the tradition of ecclesiastical education, first mentioned in the 10th century, a Dominican higher education institution called "Studium Generale", later known as the "Universitas Iadertina", was founded as early as 14 June 1396.
Today, the University of Zadar is the largest integrated university in the Republic of Croatia, which includes 25 university departments. Departments provide studies on three levels: undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate. The total number of students is around 6000. The University actively encourages international competitive projects, incoming and outgoing mobility of students, and the participation of its units in academics and academic administration.
The Department of Ecology, Agronomy, and Aquaculture of the University of Zadar started in 2006, when the first researchers in the fields of natural and biotechnical sciences were employed. In the academic year 2010/11, the Department organized and started the undergraduate study: "Applied Ecology in Agriculture" with the first generation of students. The undergraduate study "Underwater Science and Technology" started in the academic year 2012/13. Both studies are structured in accordance with the Bologna Declaration.
Through the BLUE SMART project, the Master's study program "Sustainable Management of Aquatic Ecosystems" is developed and started in October 2017.
Zadar County Rural Development Agency (AGRRA) is a public institution established by the County of Zadar with the aim to inform, coordinate and implement the activities related to the Rural Development Programe 2014-2020.
AGRRA researches and develops information and communication technologies in the frame of rural development and fishery. AGRRA offers technical and advisory help in the international and interregional cooperation programmes focused on technical development and development of innovative entrepreneurship, as well as sustainable activities of rural areas.
Agency is divided in three departments (Department for Economy, Department for Development and EU Funds and Department of International Cooperation) which fully cover all the aspects of Zadar County’s rural development. Over the years AGRRA built a solid team with vast expertise in different sectors so to consolidate a multidisciplinary approach and build a vast partners’ network which includes private and public entities.
Cromaris is a company that specializes in growing, processing and sale of indigenous Adriatic fish and shellfish. It was established in 2009 through merger of three pioneers of Croatian and European mariculture - Cenmar, Marimirna and Marikultura Istra.
Cromaris is Croatia’s largest employer in the mariculture sector with more than 350 employees and is constantly investing in people through high school, graduate and postgraduate programmes. Today, Cromaris is one of the top 10 sea bass and sea bream producer in the world and it is recognized as a market leader in quality. This is confirmed by numerous certificates (HACCP, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, FSSC, IFS, GlobalG.A.P., Friend of the Sea), as well as by daily systematic checks and strict control of processes and products.
Besides farming conventional fish, Cromaris also farms organic fish branded as ‘Cromaris Organic’ which is distributed to markets across Europe.
Cromaris fish farms are located in the Adriatic Sea, in carefully selected locations, which are ideal environment for high quality and natural farming. Fish farms are equipped with a state-of-the-art automatic feeding system, underwater cameras in cages, robots for cleaning nets and a modern fleet for harvesting fish. All this enables daily harvesting and a quick delivery of fish from the farm to the fish sorting facility from where fish is being distributed across Europe and delivered to markets “extra fresh”, within 12-36 hours from harvest.
Considering the high nutritive value of white fish (sea bass, sea bream and meagre) which has beneficial effects on human health, Cromaris’ goal is developing and spreading a culture of healthy and balanced nutrition by increasing the consumption of fish and fish products, while caring about the environment.
WWF Adria is a non-governmental organization officially established in 2015 with the aim to achieve significant contribution in biodiversity conservation within the region as a part of the Mediterranean and Danube-Carpathian ecoregion. It was founded by WWF International through the WWF’s Mediterranean Programme to preserve and sustain the management of forest, marine and freshwater ecosystems in the Mediterranean. Although established two years ago, the organization has been active as a part of the Dinaric Arc region for more than 15 years. WWF Adria works across the region in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia. It strives to bring the world’s best experiences in nature conservation and sustainable development with local application by taking into account the specificities and needs of local communities. Over the past fifteen years many partnerships have been made with non-governmental organizations such as Dinarica, Green Home, Mladi istraživači Srbije, Eko-Most, Sunce, INCA, Zelena akcija, Zeleni Osijek, Zelena Istra, Greenpeace Croatia, BIOM, Žmergo and NGO Coalition Dravska liga.
Through its numerous projects, WWF Adria promotes the establishment and proper management of protected areas, encourages revitalization and protection of river ecosystems and wetlands, works on the advancement of processes for declaring high conservation value forests, develops sustainable tourism in marine protected areas, conducts educational campaigns to raise awareness of children and adults about environmental problems, conducts trainings and experience exchange workshops for employees of protected areas and relevant institutions, for representatives from non-governmental organisations, as well as for corporations to raise awareness of the principles of sustainable development and socially responsible business.