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Fisheries > Culture Fisheries > Ornamental Fishes

General Information

Indian waters possess a rich diversity of ornamental fishes, with over 300 varieties of indigenous species. However, the popularity and trade of ornamental fish in India is dominated by the exotic species that are bred in captivity. The world trade of ornamental fishes in 2006-07 was estimated to be nearly Rs. 3,950 crore of which India’s share is estimated to be less than Rs. 6 crore which is only 0.15 per cent of the global trade. Singapore has over 20% share in the world market while Malaysia and Sri Lanka command 7% and 5%, respectively. USA is the largest market of the ornamental fishes, followed by the European Union and Japan. India’s domestic trade is Rs. 10 crore and is growing at the rate of 20 per cent annually. The export of ornamental fishes from India at present is mainly confined to freshwater varieties.

Kerala has a rich resource of rivers, lakes, reservoirs and other water bodies suitable for rearing ornamental fishes. Some of the potential ornamental fish of Kerala namely loaches, barbs, danios, catfishes, perches and cichlids, are in great demand in export market. In different parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts goldfishes, angelfishes, koi carps, sharks, suckerfishes, gouramies etc are being grown in large scale. Integration of ornamental fish with orchids is also prevalent here. Along with aquarium fish keeping, popularity for rearing aquarium plants is also on the rise. Aquarium plants like hydrilla, cabomba, amazon plant, vallisneria etc. fetch good price in domestic market. Similarly, preparation of aquarium tanks, biofilters and other accessories is also creating good employment opportunity.


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