While West Bengal has the highest potential for export of ornamental fish in the country,the state government feels the lack of infrastructure is creating a hurdle in its trade.
At the inaugural function of Indaquaria 2009 on Wednesday,organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in association with the Ornamental Fish International,the state fisheries department expressed concern over the absence of proper marketing links in the state.
We are training women cooperatives in breeding of ornamental fish and also developing large-scale markets in the state. However,despite having the highest potential,West Bengal lacks infrastructure for setting up hatcheries,proper collection methods and marketing links, said RPS Kahlon,Principal Secretary,State Fisheries and Sports department. The high air freight and fewer flights from Kolkata are impediments especially when we compete with Singapore,Sri Lanka,Malaysia and Bangladesh. We need pressure groups for trade of ornamental fishing, he added.
The three-day event aims to bring together ornamental fish producers,exporters and importers and trade promotion bodies from across the world to a platform. Experts and importers from Germany,USA,Italy,Australia and Israel are expected to attend the event.
Experts believe the ornamental fish sector has great potential for employment generation. At present export of ornamental fish from India is mainly dependent on wild fish and the main collection areas are Kerala,Karnataka,North-east,parts of Bihar and UP,with 50 per cent catch from West Bengal.