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The first ichthyological investigations of freshwater fish fauna in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been carried out in the second half of XIX century. Foreign scientists such as Heckel, Kner and Steindachner have been described numerous very interesting and at that time not known forms from waters of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although they made certain mistakes, they succeeded to describe all unknown species. This is confimed by the fact that after that period from family Cyprinidae (the richest in species) none new species has been described, while in former Yugoslavia only two families  have been described (Karaman, 1924).

The Institute for Fishery of the People's Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina was established on February 28 1954, with main objective to act in development of freshwater fishery in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Institute has published journal „Acta Ichthyologica Bosniae et Hercegovinae“ which editor was Đorđe Kosorić.

After integration of the Institute for Fishery and Biological institute, the Department of Ichthyology and Fishery of the Biological Institute, University of Sarajevo was established in 1964. The Department has developed broad scientific activity and it was responsible for promotion of ichthyology and particularly for development of salmonide and cyprinide fishery in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was primary focused on investigation of endemic fish species, and morphological, taxonomical and ecological features of fish species from the waters of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most prominent scientists were academician prof. dr. Tonko Šoljan and prof. dr. Tihomir Vuković.

Prof. dr. Tonko Šoljan, academician - Director of the Biological Institute of the University of Sarajevo and president of Yugoslav Ichthyological Society.

Prof. dr. Mahmud Aganović - secretary of Yugoslav Ichthyological Society and head of the Institute for Fishery


Academician prof. dr. Tonko Šoljan (1907-1980) was director of the Biological Institute of the University of Sarajevo, president of Yugoslav Ichthyological Society and Head of Department for Ichthyology and Fishery from 1959 to 1970. He published numerous scientific papers and ichthyological monograph “Ribe Jadranskog mora“ printed in Split in 1948, the first edition in Croatian, the second edition in English, Fishes of the Adriatic, printed in Washington in 1963, the third edition again in Croatian, and the fourth edition in Italian – „Pesci dell Adriatico“ (Milano, 1975.). He was associate of the Yugoslav academy of the science and arts, redovni član Akademije nauka i umjetnosti BiH (ANUBiH), regular member of the Society for the Science and arts of Montenegro, member of the Scociety for systematic zoology in Washingtonu, member of the International commission for research of the Adriatic Sea in Monaco, and permanent member of the board of the Council for fishing of the Mediterranean Sea at FAO..

Prof. dr. Mahmud Aganović was Head of the Laboratory for fish ecologyje for 15 years. His the most important publication was „Salmonidne vrste riba i njihov uzgoj“ from 1979.

After him, the director of the Biological Institute was academician dr. Tihomir Vuković, one of the best ichthyologist in Bosnia and Herzegovina and well known and established name in Europeand and global ichthyology. He published more than three hundred scientific and expert papers in the field of biosystematics, ecology and phylogeny, mainly freshwater fish. Special attention deserves his studies on endemic ichthyofauna of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dr. Vuković is author of several very important books and monographies, such as „Slatkovodne ribe Jugoslavije“ and „Ribe Bosne i Hercegovine“ He initiated and founded Yugoslav ichthyological Society. Also, Dr. Vuković was the first president of European Ichthyological Society (he was elected as its lifelong honorary president), and chief editor of the journal „Ichthyologia“.

A modern ichthyological investigations in the second half of XX century have been continuous. They have included investigations of composition and structure of fish population and various impacts on their life. Significant contribution to the knowledge of composition and structure of fish populations in waters of Bosnia and Herzegovina gave Plančić (1953), Taler (1953), Badnjević (1965), Sofradžija (1965), Aganović, Vuković and Kapetanović (1966), Kosorić and Vuković (1966), Aganović (1967), Korić (1968), Aganović et al. (1974), Kosorić (1974, 1976 i 1978), Kosorić et al. (1980), Kosorić and Mikavica (1981), Kosorić et al. (1983), Sofradžija, Vuković and Hadžiselimović (1984), Kosorić et al. (1985), Vuković et al. (1987), Mikavica, Sofradžija and Dizdarević (1991), Adrović (2002), Škrijelj (2002), Sofradžija (2003), etc.



The First European Ichthyological Congress was held in Sarajevo from 21 to 29 September 1973.

The Chairman of the Congress was Tonko Šoljan, and Secretary general was Mahmud Aganović.

268 authors from 22 countries with 276 abstracts participated at the conference.



Ichthyology and Fishing Center at the Faculty of Science Sarajevo was established in 1996. The first head of the center was dr. Avdo Sofradžija, professor emeritus. He is author of monography „Slatkovodne ribe Bosne i Hercegovina“ published in 2010..

Prof. dr. Rifat Škrijelj, full professor at the Faculty of Science Sarajevo was the second head of the center. He is author of numerous works in the field of ichthyology. Among them, particular attention deserves scientific monography „Populacije riba neretvanskih jezera: ihtiološka monografija“ published in 2002. godine. Prof. dr. Rifat Škrijelj was project leader of numerous very important projects focused on investigation and protection of extremely valuable ichthyoresources in our country..

After election of prof. dr. Rifat Škrijelj for Dean of the Faculty of Science in 2012, the head of the center became prof. dr. Samir Đug, associate professor at the Faculty of Science.