Economy

Ornamental fishery has big export potential: Minister

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on January 29, 2014 Published on January 29, 2014

The sector can generate large number of jobs

The potential of the ornamental fishery resources in the country has to be exploited to improve India’s share in the global market, according to Union Minister for Food and Consumer Affairs, KV Thomas.

“We have to take more steps to exploit the resources in the sector,” he said speaking at an international seminar – Ornamentals Kerala 2014 – organised as part of India International Aqua Show.

Madhusoodana Kurup, Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, said that India contributes only 0.3 per cent of world exports and the sector can generate huge employment. He said that India’s ornamental fishery export contribution was $1.24 million.

The Western Ghats and the North-Eastern Region are the biodiversity hotspots of the ornamental fish industry in India.

Over 300 species being exported from India, he said 99 per cent is caught in the wild. As many as 287 native fish species and 92 exotic fish species are being exported.

Lack of the production of new fish varieties, low cost feed, fish health management practices, proper training are major issues faced by the industry. Sevin Fossa, President, European Pet Organisation and aquarium consultant, Norway, said that India has to focus on marketing the products as well as sustainable exploitation of the rich resources on account of the large presence of indigenous fish varieties with high export values.

Eco-labelling

Strict implementation of eco-labelling and green certification is the need of the hour to strengthen India’s export industry of ornamental fishes.

Eco-labelling is necessary because consumers are more quality conscious and demanding for social and environmental responsibilities, said A Ramachandran, Director, School of Industrial Fisheries, Cochin University of Science and Technology.

The green certification will help sustain the ornamental fish resources in addition to boosting the product image, he said at the international seminar – Ornamentals Kerala 2014.

The seminar also recommended targeting a growth rate of five per cent by the Indian ornamental fish trade in global exports by 2020. To achieve the target, the seminar emphasised the need for setting up necessary infrastructure for mass production of the indigenous species.

Published on January 29, 2014
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