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Introducing the Project “Inventory of Fish Species in the Buna River”

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Novi Val Youth Club is introducing the project “Inventory of Fish Species in the Buna River” whose main goal is to create a list of fish species present in the river and gather information on the state of their populations.

This project aims to influence the protection of freshwater fish in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a special emphasis on the softmouth trout (Salmothymus obtusirostris oxyrhynchus) that is found in the Buna River where it is endemic. According to the IUCN Red Book, the species is critically endangered.

Softmouth trout inhabits areas characterized by cold and clear waters, rich in oxygen with little temperature variation. However, due to illegal fishing and a variety of abiotic and biotic factors this species has become endangered.

To ensure the survival of the species, we want to establish a conservation program for the softmouth trout outside of it natural habitat. This way, we will remove all pressures that have a negative impact on the species, as well as its natural predators.

In addition to the inventory of fish species in the Buna River, the project includes workshops with representatives of local institutions, relevant ministries, local communities, fishermen and fly-fishing associations, as well as other civil society organizations. The aim of these workshops is to establish a coordinating body whose mission will be the implementation of this project and the protection of the Buna River. Additional workshops for elementary schools in Mostar are planned, as a way of introducing environmental topics and raising awareness of nature protection amongst children.

Fish inventory will be prepared by scientists from the Džemal Bijedić University in Mostar, Sanel Riđanović and Emina Lulić.

This project is part of the initiative for the protection of rivers of Southeast Europe, launched by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Together, partners want to highlight and protect the unique river treasures of the region, whose importance exceeds the borders of individual countries. By protecting our rivers, we are creating new development opportunities, ensuring long-term benefits for people and nature.