Project Profile of Fish Hatchery

Support to income generation through establishment of a fish hatchery in  Bosnia and Herzegovina



  • Symbol:           GCP/BIH/003/NOR 
  • Duration:          2004-2009  
  • Donor:              Government of Kingdom of Norway
  • Recipient:         Bosnia and Herzegovina 
                             Government Implementing Agency - Ministry of Foreign Affairs



The recovery of industry and agriculture after the war is slow in Bosnia and Herzegovina, because the production facilities were destroyed. As a consequence of it, the unemployment rate is high in the country. The project area (Bosanska Krupa) is particularly afflicted by this problem, because the war activity was extremely severe here.

The beauty of the nature attracted many tourists into this region before the war. The fly fishing-based eco-tourism was an important source of the income for the local community.

However, the fish populations of the rivers were over-exploited during and after the war in the project area and in its vicinity (Una, Sana, Krusnica Rivers).

The Government of Norway supported the construction of a fish hatchery at River Krusnica in order to create jobs and incomes for war invalids who live in  Bosanska Krupa. The hatchery was dedicated to produce local strains of brown trout, grayling and Danube salmon for re-stocking of natural waters of Krusnica, Una Rivers catchments area, and larger Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to support the rehabilitation of the fish populations and to help the re-vitalization of the tourism. The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) implements the project in close collaboration with the Sports Fishermen’s Association Krusnica, which is a local NGO, with several hundred members. 


The project had three phases. (i) In the first phase, between 2003-2005 the legal frames of the hatchery establishment, and the technical/technological planning were completed with participation of international and national consultants, and local experts.  The road to the remote site of the hatchery, the building of the fish hatchery and a water supply pipe from the source of Krusnica River were constructed. The pre-selected local staff of the project, war invalids, with disability of 30-100 %, were trained in Sweden, Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina on fish production. (ii) Since February 2008, considerable activities have been carried out in order to complete the fish hatchery. According to the new global standards for the reduction of the water use and for decreasing the environmental loading of aquaculture activities the fish hatchery is based on water recycling technology, adapted to the site by AKVA Group Denmark, a leading development company of this technology. (iii) The fish hatchery operation was started in late 2008. The incubation unit of the fish hatchery was ready in this period in its final form, but the broodfish tanks and the nursery unit work still now as flow-trough systems. However, sufficient quantity of fish was produced in these temporary systems for stocking the water recirculation-based fingerling production unit, which is under construction/near its completion.  These fish will be reared up till early spring of 2010 in the new system and will be used locally, or sold for re-stocking purpose to other angling associations.




Jobs were created for few war invalids who were interested to carry out an active life and utilize their ability for improving their livelihood and for improving/maintaining their environment.

The hatchery was established in the frame of the project and it contributes in rehabilitation of the fish fauna by production of the indigenous strains (brown trout, grayling and Danube salmon) of the target species, and enhances the sports fishery by increasing fish yields. Moreover, new breeding methods were introduced by foreign experts of Salmon genetic to support the project work. These methods are popularized by the project. The distributed information will certainly effect positively on the professional approach of farm managers of the region towards fish genetic. This will help to maintain the biodiversity in Bosnian waters.




Adaptation of the new, environmental-friendly fish production technology (i.e. production of fish in the water recycling system) was not easily accepted by some of the decision makers of the local partner (Sport Fishermen’s Associacion Krusnica). Further efforts should be done for increasing the public acceptance of this production technology, emphasizing the significance of the low discharge of metabolites from the hatchery into the high quality water of the River Krusnica. Moreover, the advantages of the planned (and partially applied) broodfish management methods which helps to avoid the genetic degradation of the local strains of the fish should be explained to the professionals, anglers  and that part of the community who gives attention to the improving and maintaining of the quality of environment.




A fish hatchery suitable for production of 250 000-450 000 pcs of fingerlings annually (size dependant) was established. Five war invalids are employed in the   hatchery continuously since the production started in 2008.  The production technology learned by the staff abroad was adapted to the local conditions. There are 55 000 fingerlings of 8-10 cm size in the system.

These fish will be used for restocking purpose and for selling. The hatchery will have enough income to start the self-sustainable operation from the next year after selling those fingerlings which will not be used for restocking the waters of the local Sports Fishermen’s Association.  Since the hatchery activity got wider publicity, the interest of anglers has increased towards the River Krusnica. Further increase in the numbers of visitors can be expected after restocking the fish into the river, since the bigger population of the fish will attract more and more anglers. 

Stocking Strategies



The local community is aware of the value of the nature of its region. They benefitted from the tourism before the war, and they consider the tourism as one of the most important way of the further development. Moreover, their approach towards the rivers of the area is emotional in a certain extent, since the rivers were important playing grounds for majority of the people in their childhood, and hundreds of people are attached to them recently as anglers. Consequently, the progress of the project is followed by the local community, and they expect that the hatchery work will affect positively on the environment and their livelihood.







Bos. Krupa Links  |  Galery of Bos. Krupa  |  See Google map of Bos. Krupa  |  War photos of Bos. Krupa  |  Video:Huchen, River Una and Krusnica  |