Sri Lanka fishes for bigger bite of world ornamental fish market

Sri Lanka is fishing for a bigger bite of the world ornamental fish market, with targets set for 10 percent of global billings by 2010. Sri Lanka is fishing for a bigger bite of the world ornamental fish market, with targets set for 10 percent of global billings by 2010. National Aquaculture Development Authority Director Nimal Chandraratne said the island currently exports 40 species of aquarium fish, billing Rs. 749 million in 2004 or some three percent of the global trade, up from Rs. 623 million in 2003.

Globally however, some 8,000 varieties are traded, with countries like Indonesia supplying over 4,200 of the varieties.

Growth incentives will come from a proposed government sponsored research and development centre in the central hills of the island.

The centre will disseminate technical skills for rearing and breading ornamental fish together with details and assistance for tapping the export market.

Chandraratne says a key barrier holding down Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish industry is the lack of technical know-how to rear and breed.

Sri Lanka is home to less then 100 ornamental fish exporters, with a fi