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Declared a National Park and a Memorial Site in 1983 the Brijuni Islands are today one of eight national parks and one of the biologically most valuable areas in Croatia. Besides its special biological features, these islands have unique cultural-historical and geological and palaeontological values. The land and the surrounding sea and seabed cover a total surface of 33,9 km2, while the coastal length of all the islands is 46,8 km. The sea takes up nearly 80% of the protected area of the National Park and great efforts are put into its protection and preservation.

Many protected and strictly protected species inhabit undersea areas of Brijuni, the aquatorium is extremely significant as a fish hatchery, and it also represents an indicative oasis of sea organisms typical for North Adriatic. The indentation of the coastline, the diversity of the base, the bathymetric configuration and the specific hydrodynamic conditions are reflected in the wide variety of littoral biocoenoses - life communities - that are still unaffected by direct sources of contamination.Here you can find the pen-shell (Pinna nobilis) and the date-shell (Lithophaga lithophaga). Turtles and dolphins, the protected marine vertebrates, can also from time to time be seen in the waters of Brijuni. There are also some endemic species like the black tang, Jadranski bračić, and the tunicate, Jadranski ciganin. The seabed abounds in sponges, shellfish, sea urchins, crustaceans, fish etc. Among fish the most numerous are sea basses, giltheads, grey mullets, soles, groupers, conger eels, dentexes, black umbers…

In the past in the seas of Brijuni were found some species that were never seen in the Adriatic, as well as some species up to then unknown to scientists like the soft coral Alcyonium brionense (Kuekenthal 1906) or the variety of the sponge Ircinia variabilis fistulata (Syzmanski 1904).

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