On 30 July 2021, the Government of Montenegro passed a Decision on placing two marine sites in Boka-Kotorska Bay (Sopot and Dražin vrt) under preventive protection. This decision came following the great findings of the marine survey in the area, undertaken as part of the GEF Adriatic project, when around 1,000 colonies of Savalia savaglia (Golden Coral) were found, which is twice as many as all known colonies of this species in the entire Mediterranean. The largest populations were recorded at the sites of Sopot and Dražin Vrt, with some smaller number of populations found elsewhere. However, these important species are exposed to significant anthropogenic pressures, mainly coming from marine litter, and immediate measures were needed to secure their protection.
Preventive protection of these sites is the result of cooperation between Montenegrin institutions: Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism; Environmental Protection Agency; Institute of Marine Biology; Kotor Municipality and Public Enterprise “Morsko Dobro”, with the initial support from the GEF Adriatic project. All the institutions, also collaborators within the GEF Adriatic project, are committed to establishing the necessary protection of natural values and ensuring efficient management of these sites in the coastal area of Montenegro.