Ornamental and colour fish farming will be set up soon on the banks of river Tungabhadra in Kurnool.
The Union government has asked the fisheries department to send proposals for setting up a unit in Kurnool. Fisheries department joint director Ahmed said that it would enhance job opportunities for the fisher folk. He said that this will be the first such unit coming up in the entire Rayalaseema region.
He said that the increasing demand for aquarium fishes gradually paved the avenue towards global trade of ornamental fishes. It is a low-cost high return business which could be taken up by the youth as an avenue of employment generation, Ahmed said. Typically, the project cost works out to Rs 50 lakhs out of which 90 per cent subsidy will be provided by the fisheries department, he said.
Vivek Bhatia, a consultant, spreading awareness on ornamental fishes said that the exotic fish variety dominate the Indian market and more than 250 varieties have been recorded from the domestic market. More than 200 species of these freshwater fish are being bred in different parts of India by the ornamental fish breeders and aquarium hobbyists, he said.
Vivek Bhatia said that the common exotic varieties such as guppy, molly, swordtail, platy and egg layers such as gold fish, koi carp, tiger barb, siamese fighting fish, tetra, silver shark, angel, red-tailed black shark, red finned shark and others dominate the market. Native ornamental fish include honey gourami, rosy barb, zebra fish, glass fish, loach and others that have good demand, he said.
The world trade of ornamental fish is estimated to be around Rs 2,000 crores, but India’s share is only Rs 200 crores which is very insignificant. Most of the fish species of North-Eastern region of India possess high values for their attractive colouration pattern, graceful behaviour, peculiar body morphology and endemicity.