Aquarium Boka is the only public aquarium in Montenegro. It builds public awareness and action for protecting the Adriatic Sea species and habitats, actively contributes to various conservation solutions, and serves as role models.
The Institute of Marine Biology in Kotor (IMB) is the only institution in the southern Adriatic involved in the study, protection, and conservation of marine biodiversity and water catchment areas. Thirty years ago, a specialized laboratory was formed, with infrastructure for growing and studying the biology and ecology of marine and freshwater organisms (aquariums, circular pools, cold rooms, etc.). However, this part of the IMB is no longer functional and without reconstruction, its further use for research and public purposes is not possible.
The IMB is granted with EUR 0,62 million by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement a project “Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center Boka Aquarium – MonteAqua“. The project is under implementation between December 4, 2017, and June 1, 2020. The planned project’s effect on society is enhanced Montenegrin EU integration process in the area of nature protection relevant to water ecosystems and sustainable management of protected water ecosystems. One of the main activities of the MonteAqua project is building reconstruction of the ground floor of the IMB, of about 300 sqm. It is creating infrastructural pre-conditions to host the Center for Marine Biodiversity Conservation with Aquarium Boka and Kotor Adriatic Rescue Center for marine wildlife. Funds are also allocated for purchasing the equipment for the aquarium.
Click on the button to download MonteAqua leaflet.
In April 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro, through the World Bank loan for implementation the Second Institutional Development and Agriculture Strengthening Project (MIDAS 2), allocated 360,000 EUR for the Procurement of Equipment for aquarium for the Institute of Marine Biology.
Note: This section is based on the paper presented on the International Conference Adriatic Biodiversity Protection – AdriBioPro2019: Vladica Simić, Igor Mirović, Radoje Laušević (2019): Aquarium Boka concept design. International Conference Adriatic Biodiversity Protection – AdriBioPro2019, 7-10 April 2019, Kotor, Montenegro, Book of Abstracts: 85. Institute of Marine Biology, University of Montenegro. 126 pp. Download paper (Center for Adriatic Biodiversity Conservation.pdf)
The Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka” with two units: public Aquarium and Rescue Centre for Water Wild Flora and Fauna, is a unique institution in Montenegro that integrates research and education for promoting and practicing effective conservation on behalf of the sea’s wildlife. Aquarium builds public awareness and action for protecting Adriatic Sea species and habitats, but also actively contributes to various conservation solutions and serve as role models. The establishing of the Center is especially important from the aspect of opening the possibilities for closer cooperation between science and business entities, particularly those engaged in fishing, as well as aquaculture, production of fish, and seafood products. Rescue Center develops capacities in Montenegro for rescuing endangered sea species. The Center as a whole strengthens the position of Montenegro in terms of regional and international scientific cooperation in the field of conservation of biological resources of aquatic ecosystems. And most importantly, Aquarium moves people to act on behalf of the marine species we seek to protect.
Setting up Aquarium Boka
Setting up the Aquarium Boka required two main Inputs:
- Adaptation of the ground floor of the Institute for Marine Biology (reconstruction and restoring the Aquarium)
- Installing a set of aquaria
An executive project for the adaptation of the ground floor is developed by architectural studio Enforma from Kotor, Montenegro. Reconstruction works were done by the company LD Gradnja from Nikšić, Montenegro. Specialized Italian company Panaque is delivering and assembling the aquarium tanks with all associated equipment.
Click on the button to download the architectural concept design developed by Enforma (available only in Montenegrin: Idejno rješenje. Enforma doo Stari Grad bb, Kotor. 2018. 71 str.)
Aquarium Boka concept design
Note: this section is based on the paper presented on the International Conference Adriatic Biodiversity Protection – AdriBioPro2019: Radoje Laušević, Mirko Đurović (2019): Center for Adriatic Biodiversity Conservation. International Conference Adriatic Biodiversity Protection – AdriBioPro2019, 7-10 April 2019, Kotor, Montenegro, Book of Abstracts: 86. Institute of Marine Biology, University of Montenegro. 126 pp. Download paper Center for Adriatic Biodiversity Conservation (807 kb)
The concept design of Aquarium Boka is developed as the main input for setting up Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka”. It envisages 16 tanks, each with a particular theme: (1) Mediterranean rare fish; (2) Flagship species; (3) Invasive species (Splash tank); (4) Allochthonous algae and invertebrates; (5) Shallow littoral; (6) Mid littoral; (7) Deep littoral; (8-9) Endangered species; (10) Mediterranean moray; (11) Sharks and raja; (12) Boka Kotorska Bay (Touch tank); (13) “Vrulja” (underwater spring); (14) Tropical corals; (15-16) Invasive species and tropical fish.
Theme tanks are grouped into four sections:
(1) Entrance section – exhibiting the World Sea and Mediterranean Sealife (tanks 1-4),
(2) Central section – exhibiting the Adriatic Sea biodiversity (tanks 5-11),
(3) Special section – exhibiting the Boka Kotorska Bay sea-life (tanks 12-13)
(4) Exit section – exhibiting tropical seas life (tanks 14-16).
All sections are connected by the open space, while exhibit pathway represents interconnection among seas, sea currents, and vertical profile of the sea – from coastal area to the open sea.
Concept design presents the public aquarium which is opening possibilities for closer cooperation between science and business entities, particularly those engaged in fishing, as well as aquaculture, production of fish and seafood products. Aquarium Boka is designed with the goal to strengthen the position of Montenegro in regional and international scientific cooperation in the conservation of biological marine resources.
Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka”, with both units (Aquarium and Rescue Centre) is situated on the ground floor of the Institute of Marine Biology building (Dobrota, Kotor, Montenegro).
Management & ownership
Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka” operates as an organizational unit of the IMB.
The Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka” has several services, grouped in three main service clusters:
- Aquarium scientists advise seafood companies on methods to enhance the sustainability of commercial fisheries and trade.
- The Aquarium is hosting various research programmes on Adriatic wild flora and fauna.
- The Aquarium collaborates with partners around the world to protect ocean ecosystems and establish sea protected areas.
- Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka” showcases the diversity and importance of marine wildlife with particular focus on the Adriatic Sea.
- The “Aquarium Boka” tanks inspire visitors with the beauty and complexity of the marine ecosystem through the replication of various marine habitats.
- Aquarium educators lead a nationwide initiative on climate change and inspire future Adriatic Sea protectors with hands-on programs such as Boka Discoveries Camps, mainly summer camps for students in marine biology
- Rescue Centre for Water Wild Flora and Fauna Team leads national and regional efforts to rehabilitate and release endangered species.
- Rescue Centre for Water Wild Flora and Fauna rescues endangered sea species
- Breeding and reintroduction programmes for species otherwise endangered or extinct in the wild
- Download Leaflet Aquarium Boka service clusters (127 kb)
In the operations of the Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka” generates several products:
- Information brochure
- Information leaflets
- Promotional packs (gadgets)
- Desk researches
- Field researches
Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka” has several goals:
- Building public awareness and action;
- Protecting aquatic species and habitats;
- Advocating for conservation solutions;
- Serving as role models; and
- Moving people to act on behalf of the marine species we seek to protect
Our vision is a world where people and sea wildlife share the oceans in harmony.
Marine Biodiversity Conservation Center “Aquarium Boka” is a catalyst for global sustainability through promoting and practicing effective conservation on behalf of the Adriatic sea’s wildlife.