GUWAHATI, Jan 2 - The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, is keen to develop ornamental fisheries in the Northeast, including Assam.
Ornamental fishes, also known as �living jewels�, have been attracting the unemployed youths in the State to try out other option of livelihood. It needs to be mentioned that exotic ornamental fishes have seen a rise in domestic demand, while the indigenous variety is becoming popular abroad.
Of the available 267 fish species in the region, about 50 have attracted international attention, an official in the Fisheries Department stated.
�The main advantages for trade in exotic ornamental fish include � they require less space, the same water can be used for several times, and the technology is easy to use,� said the official, adding that the domestic demand for aquarium and ornamental fishes is about 20 lakh per month in the State, and nearly 50 per cent of them are produced in the State.
Considering the potential of this sector, the NFDB has already sponsored two national workshops on ornamental fisheries at the Gauhati University and St Anthony�s college, Shillong. The NFDB Regional Centre, Guwahati, also organised a three days� training programme on ornamental fisheries in collaboration with ICAR-CIRI, which was attended by a total of 52 participants from different parts of this region.