October 28, 2019 - Over the past two years, the Institute of Marine Biology in Kotor received approval and funds for many international projects. One of them is that the Institute building will open its doors after 57 years by locating and creating the first public aquarium in Montenegro. The aquarium will not only be part of the tourist offer of the city of Kotor but of all of Montenegro, Dr. Mirko Djurovic, director of the Kotor Institute of Marine Biology, told Radio Kotor.
Dr. Djurovic points out that the idea of opening a public aquarium is old, but that it failed to materialize earlier due to lack of funds.
"It is challenging to find a donor or a financier of such a story. We applied for the project of the Adriatic Biodiversity Conservation Center, within which a public aquarium will be realized, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway through the Embassy in Belgrade. They provided us with additional funds for the reconstruction of part of the Institute building, thanks to which we completely renovated and saved from decaying a terrace that has not been used for the last 25 years, precisely because of the lack of material resources for its maintenance," explains Dr. Djurovic.
The aquarium will be located on the ground floor of the Institute of Marine Biology.
"The entrance to the aquarium will be from the Plagenti promenade. At the end of the boardwalk, a special ramp and gate will be made, as well as all accompanying facilities. The complete left side of the Institute's courtyard facing the city will be in the function of the aquarium," says Dr. Djurovic.
The construction of the aquarium is planned in several stages. "In the courtyard of the Institute, we will set up pavilions to house various representations of the marine ecosystem. The idea is to create a small open-air marine museum," said Dr. Djurovic.
The aquarium will be made up of three units. "The first unit will be the Mediterranean with three large pools, measuring 2 meters high by 3 meters wide, which will house the most characteristic Mediterranean species. Then, we will enter from this room into a room where we will accommodate species that are characteristic of the Montenegrin coast. Section C will try to imitate the shape of the Bay of Boka Kotorska, which will house species living in the Boka and Adriatic Sea, such as flatfish, rye, etc.
The first part will also house two pools with jellyfish and seahorses. The Aquarium Rehabilitation Center will be an integral part of the aquarium, one room separated from the aquarium by the glass. Visitors will be able to see the sea turtles, but they will not be able to approach them," explains Dr. Djurovic.
The aquarium is scheduled to open in May 2020.
"All funding is project-based. It is a grant from the Kingdom of Norway, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's MIDAS II program. This program is related to the purchase of aquarium equipment," explains Dr. Djurovic.
The Marine Biology Institute is a unit of the University of Montenegro, which has been operating in Kotor since 1961. This institution once hosted numerous "Nobel Prize winners" and prominent scientists from the former Yugoslavia.
"The Institute of Marine Biology is one of the most recognizable institutions in Montenegro with young and active scientific staff, which, with the help of younger colleagues, Ph.D. students and others, implements very significant scientific research projects, as well as through good international cooperation, and by the number of scientific papers they publish," emphasizes Dr. Djurovic.
Source: Radio Kotor