Agri Business

Aquarium trade will be worth ₹1,200 cr in a decade: expert

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on January 11, 2018


The ornamental fish industry provides jobs to around 50,000 people

The domestic aquarium market is expected to grow from ₹300 crore to ₹1,200 crore in the next 10 years, according to an expert.

Delivering a talk at a technical session on ornamental fishes at the biennial aquaculture event-Aqua Aquaria India 2017, organised by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in Mangaluru on Monday, Atul Kumar Jain, Director of the Rajasthan-based Ornamental Fisheries Training and Research Institute, said the ornamental fish industry provides jobs to around 50,000 people through 5,000 aquarium retail outlets and an equal number of production units.

All these put together amount to a domestic aquarium trade of around ₹300 crore. This is at a time when 1.25 per cent of the 7.88 crore urban households in the country have an aquarium at home or the workplace.

The market for the domestic aquarium trade is expected to grow to ₹1,200 crore in the next 10 years as nearly 5 per cent of the urban households will consider keeping an aquarium, he said.


Stating that there is a cyclic relation of demand and supply in the domestic aquarium trade, he said the supply in the form of retail outlets and production units triggered the demand from hobbyists. This, in turn, again stimulates the supply.

The number of ornamental fish hobbyists is increasing in the country because of reasons such as increase in per capita income and change in the spending behaviour of consumers as they tend to focus on hobby spending.

The increase in the number of aquarium retail outlets has paved the way for cheap and easy availability of ornamental fishes and aquarium accessories.

Many consumers keep aquariums because of their belief in concepts such as vaastu and fengshui.

On the ornamental fish buying trend in the domestic market, Jain said demand is high for low-value and medium-value fish in the market.

Nearly 60 per cent prefer low-value ones in the range of ₹15-50 a fish and 31 per cent opt for medium-value ones in the range of ₹50-200 a fish. Only 2 per cent of the consumers buy fish in the range of ₹2,000 a fish.

He said culture of ornamental fish was earlier limited to a few villages near Kolkata, Mumbai and lately near Chennai. In many cases culture of ornamental fish was taken up as a backyard activity to support the family income, and the culture methods were based on low-input technology.

Except Mumbai, the traditional practices of production still remain the major supplier of ornamental fish to the trade.


He said the country exported ornamental fish to the tune of around ₹5.65 crore in 2015-16. Ornamental fish grown in captivity in India are not in demand in the international market because of the limited knowledge base of breeders and unhygienic traditional production practices.

Published on May 15, 2017

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