The Department of Animal Husbandry along with Dairying and Fisheries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare would be launching a pilot scheme for the development of ornamental fisheries with a total outlay of Rs 61.89 crore.
The scheme would mainly focus on creating an environment that would enable sustainable development of Ornamental Fisheries for the socio-economic development of the people attached to the activity as well as for exports.
Following are the major objectives of the project:
• To promote ornamental fish culture in India through cluster-based approach.
• To expand ornamental fisheries trade and export earnings
• To create employment opportunities for the rural & peri-urban population
• To use modern technology and innovation to make ornamental fisheries a thriving activity.
The pilot project would be implemented in eight states at first, which include Assam, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. It would be implemented by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) through the Fisheries departments of the states.
Overall, ornamental fisheries, which is counted as a sub-sector of the fisheries sector dealing with breeding and rearing of coloured fish of both freshwater and marine water has the potential for tremendous growth in India.
Though it does not directly contribute to India’s food and nutritional security, it helps generate livelihood and income for the rural and peri-urban population, especially for women and the unemployed youth who take it up as a part-time activity.
Besides this, the major attraction in the sector is the low production cost backed by high returns within a short span of time and the ever-growing demand in both Indian and International markets. Currently, there are about 400 species of marine ornamental fishes and 375 freshwater ornamental varieties in India.