Ornamental Fish Aquaculture

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    • Recently, 82 islanders, 77 of them women, were selected and underwent intensive training in Ornamental fish aquaculture.

    About

    • Community-based ornamental fish aquaculture, using local resources is the first-of-its-kind experiment, as many as 82 islanders, 77 of them women, were selected and underwent intensive training. 
    • They have formed groups for ornamental fish aquaculture with technical support from the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR).

    Key highlights

    • Role of National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR):
      • The NBFGR maintains a germplasm resource center for marine ornamental organisms on Agatti Island for conservation as well as boosting livelihood sources for the islanders. 
      • The support being extended by the NBFGR includes capacity building and hand-holding community aquaculture units maintained by local women to raise captive-bred marine ornamentals, including shrimps, to marketable size.
      • The NBFGR project team on Agatti island will monitor the units and provide technical inputs, till the organisms reach the marketable size.
    • Expansion:
      • To expand the activity and enhance the income of women, in addition to the two species of ornamental shrimps, captive-raised clownfish seeds were also supplied to the groups for further rearing.

    Significance

    • Sustaining Economic life & empowering women:  
      • Helping the islanders, especially women, generate income is important considering that the islands have limited resources, mostly in the form of coconut and tuna fish. 
      • Fishing virtually comes to a halt during the monsoon season, shutting out a key economic activity. 
      • However, ornamental fish aquaculture is expected to sustain the rhythm of economic life in the islands.
    • Environment friendly:
      • The experiment in community-based breeding and sale of ornamental fish has been turned into an environment-friendly one, using coconut fronds and leaves as well as deploying solar panels.

    More about Ornamental fish farming in India

    • About:
      • Ornamental fish culture is the culture of attractive, colourful fishes of various characteristics, which are reared in a confined aquatic system
      • There is a great demand for exotic species due to its colour, shape and appearance
    • Economic contribution:
      • Ornamental fishes of India are contributing about 1% of the total ornamental fish trade
        • These fishes are exported to the tune of 54 tons, having the value of Rupees 13.08 crores in 2020-21. 
        • It registerd a growth of 66.55 % in terms of quantity and 20.59% in terms of value in INR. 
    • Growth potential:
      • India has great potential in Ornamental fish production due to following factors:
        • Presence of rich biodiversity of species, 
        • Favourable climatic conditions and 
        • Availability of cheap labour. 
      • Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal mainly practice ornamental fish farming in India.
      • About 90% of native species (85% are from northeast India) are collected and reared to meet export demand. 

    About Lakshadweep

    • Basics:
      • The name Lakshadweep in Malayalam and Sanskrit means ‘a hundred thousand islands’. The Union Territory was formed in 1956 and it was named Lakshadweep in 1973.
      • India’s smallest Union Territory Lakshadweep is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands with an area of 32 sq km.
      • All Islands are 220 to 440 km away from the coastal city of Kochi in Kerala, in the emerald Arabian Sea.
      • It is a uni-district Union Territory and comprises 12 atolls, three reefs, five submerged banks and ten inhabited islands
      • The capital is Kavaratti and it is also the principal town of UT. 
    • Natural characteristics:
      • Lakshadweep is known for its exotic and sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscape. 
      • The natural landscapes, the sandy beaches, an abundance of flora and fauna and the absence of a rushed lifestyle enhance the mystique of Lakshadweep.
    • Service providers:
      • Only BSNL and Airtel provide telecommunication services to Lakshadweep Islands.
        • BSNL provides connectivity in all 10 inhabited islands whereas Airtel provides connectivity to Kavaratti and Agatti islands.
    • Entry permit:
      • The entry to Lakshadweep islands is restricted. One requires an entry permit issued by Lakshadweep Administration to visit these islands.

    Source: TH