On the occasion of Earth Day, last 22 April 2021, the new Montenegrin government declared the first Marine Protected Area of the country, the Platamuni Natural Park.

Platamuni MPA is located in the northwest part of the Montenegrin coast on the open sea, it spreads from Cape Platamuni to Žukovica Bay, and the closest and the biggest town in the surrounding is Budva on south-east from the MPA. Budva is one of the oldest towns (3.450 years old) in the Adriatic sea (Butua was the name in ancient times) and today is the most popular tourist town on the Montenegrin coast. 

This area is 99% made out of rocky cliffs, with no beaches or hotels, houses, or any infrastructure along the whole coastline of MPA, it is part of the wildest part of the Montenegran coast.

Cliffs of the Platamuni MPA – © Dušan Varda

Platamuni MPA was declared as a protected area primarily due to its value of biodiversity, especially those species and habitats that are important for protection. The most important habitats in Platamuni MPA are outstanding marine caves with an extraordinary richness of species and corraligen communities.

A scyllarus artus in the MPA – © Dušan Varda

The MPA does not include – yet – a no-take zone, but some activities are still prohibited.

The new government is also planning to proclaim two other MPAs in Montenegro – MPA Katič and MPA Old Ulcinj (Stari Ulcinj). We all hope that at least one of them could be proclaimed before the end of this year.

Marine caves are one of the most important habitats within the MPA – © Dušan Varda