• Tomislav Mavra University of Zadar
  • Astrid Zekić University of Zadar
  • Dino Zupanovic University of Zadar
  • Ana Gundić University of Zadar



small ports, ports of local importance, port infrastructure, , sustainable development


In ancient times, the Mediterranean was a shipbuilding centre of the world; port activities in larger bays and harbours along the Adriatic coast had been developing since prehistory. Remains of ancient ports found along the Adriatic coast testify to the rich history of this area.

The paper analyses development of ports of local importance in the area of the town of Zadar. Currently, there are six ports classified as ports of local importance in Zadar area. The aim of the paper is to emphasize the development potentials of these ports. The paper begins with a review of relevant legal frameworks, followed by a detailed analysis of the current situation in each of these six ports. The analysis was focused on locational, navigational and meteorological conditions, berthing equipment, as well as facilities available in ports. The paper gives a comprehensive overview of the current state and development potentials of the mentioned ports, offering concrete guidelines for achieving sustainable and prosperous development. 

For the purpose of data collection, a field research was conducted in port areas. The research included gathering data on weather conditions, tides, wind directions, as well as interviews with local population in order to include their needs in the research. Additionally, depth measurements along the coasts of the ports were taken since precise data did not exist. A drone was used to gather visual documentation.

Based on the conducted analysis, development direction and potential limitations have been identified for each port. The suggested development strategies include infrastructure improvement, equipment modernization, technological advancement, and implementation of sustainable solutions for waste management and environmental protection.

It has been concluded that development challenges these ports are facing with refer to navigation safety, the condition of infrastructure and environmental standards. Common limitations and challenges in the development of analysed ports indicate the need for significant infrastructure modernisation and adherence to environmental standards. Planning, a strategic approach to development and collaboration with the local community are crucial for overcoming these challenges.