Daily News Analysis

Ornamental Fish Aquaculture

Syllabus- Government Policies & Interventions [GS Paper-2]

Context- Through coordinated efforts, it is anticipated that community-based ornamental fish aquaculture will assist Lakshadweep island women in taking the first step toward self-sufficiency.

Key Highlights

    • The first-of-its-kind community-based ornamental fish aquaculture experiment made use of local resources. Up to 82 islanders, including 77 women, were chosen and received extensive training.
    • With the help of technical assistance from the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR), they have established groups for the aquaculture of ornamental fish.
  • Role of National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR):
      • On Agatti Island, the NBFGR operates a germplasm resource center for marine ornamental organisms in the interest of conservation and expanding islander livelihood options.
      • The NBFGR is providing assistance by building local women’s capacity and supporting community aquaculture units that raise captive-bred marine ornamentals, such as shrimps, to marketable size.
      • Until the organisms reach a size that can be sold, the Agatti island NBFGR project team will keep an eye on the units and provide technical assistance.
  • Expansion:
    • In addition to the two ornamental shrimp species, captive-raised clownfish seeds were also provided to the groups for further rearing in order to expand the activity and increase women’s income.


  • Keeping economic life going and giving women more power: 
      • Given that the islands only have a limited supply of coconut and tuna fish, it is crucial to assist the islanders, particularly the women, in earning a living.
      • During the monsoon season, fishing practically stops, preventing a vital economic activity.
      • However, ornamental fish aquaculture is anticipated to maintain the islands’ economic rhythm.
  • friendly to the environment:
    • Using coconut fronds and leaves and solar panels, the community-based breeding and sale of ornamental fish experiment has been made environmentally friendly.

Ornamental fish farming in India

    • The cultivation of attractive, colorful, and diversely characterized fishes in a restricted aquatic system is known as ornamental fish culture.
    • Due to its color, shape, and appearance, exotic species are in high demand.
  • Economic contribution:
      • India’s ornamental fishes account for about 1% of the global ornamental fish trade.
        • In 2020 and beyond, 54 tons of these fish will be exported, with a value of 13.08 crore rupees.
        • Quantity increased by 66.55 percent, and value increased by 20.59 percent in INR.
  • Potential for growth:
    • The following factors indicate that ornamental fish production in India has great potential:
      • The presence of species with a lot of biodiversity,
      • favorable climate, and
      • cheap labor.
    • In India, ornamental fish farming is mostly practiced in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.
    • To meet demand for export, about 90% of native species, including 85% from northeast India, are collected and raised.

  • In Malayalam and Sanskrit, the name Lakshadweep means “a hundred thousand islands.” The Union Territory was established in 1956, and in 1973, it was given the name Lakshadweep.
  • Lakshadweep, India’s smallest Union Territory, is an archipelago of 36 islands that covers 32 square kilometers.
  • The Kerala coastal city of Kochi is 220 to 440 kilometers away from each of the islands in the emerald Arabian Sea.
  • It is a Union Territory with only one district and consists of ten inhabited islands, three reefs, five submerged banks, and 12 atolls.
  • Kavaratti is UT’s principal town in addition to serving as the state’s capital.
  • Natural characteristics
  • The exotic, sun-kissed beaches and lush vegetation of Lakshadweep are well-known.
  • Lakshadweep’s natural landscapes, sandy beaches, abundant flora and fauna, and lack of a rushed lifestyle add to its mystique.
  • Service providers:
  • To the Lakshadweep Islands, only BSNL and Airtel offer telecommunications services.
  • Airtel connects to the islands of Kavaratti and Agatti, whereas BSNL connects to all ten inhabited islands.
  • Permit for entry:
  • It is difficult to enter the islands of Lakshadweep. To visit these islands, one must have a Lakshadweep Administration entry permit.
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