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March 3, 2010

High demand for exotic ornamental fishes in Chennai

     Chennai: Ornamental fish imported from countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka are in high demand in Chennai city. The market in Chennai alone is turning out to be one of the centres of breeding and export-import in India. In Chennai, many breeders breed fish in their backyards and sell the stock to the bigger companies, which are engaged in export business. "In Chennai market, more than 600 varieties of fish (are) available. Even 600 varieties of fish are not enough for our customers. Everyday they expect some more new varieties. We are also interested in importing new varieties for satisfy our customers. Every year, 10-15 new species come to India. It is also breeding by local breeders. They are enlarging business and also supplying to some other parts of country," said, B.Selvaraj, President of Ornamental Fish Sellers Association, Chennai. The domestic market of ornamental fish is around Rs 500 million (10.89 million dollars) and it contributes just about 0.008 percent to the global trade. However, the growing demand for ornamental fish may change it very soon. "The people are buying the ornamental fishes because it is colourful and beautiful, especially the foreign fishes are more colourful and has different varieties, so we show interest in buying it and (are) also happy in buying it," said Sathya, a customer. To cater to the demands of customers, the state-owned Marine Products Export Development Authority, in association with France-based Zolux, is in the process of setting up a packaging centre-cum-production unit of ornamental fishes in the city at a cost of Rs 45 million (980,600 dollars).
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