Eye catching, attractive finned creatures in Aquariums (Water Tanks) have been relief for mental stress and illness for those who pause to look and admire. “Ranmasu Pokuna” (Gold Fish Pond) at Anuradhapura in 5 th century B.C is a prime example to understand the advanced aesthetic taste enjoyed by Sri Lankan ancestors in admiring the hues and the movements of fish.
Sri Lanka has entered into the ornamental fish trade in 1950 and is among the pioneers of the international trade. However, today, the industry has become a global component in the international trade, and the country has to grapple with the competition emanating with regional countries. Currently more than 100 countries are involved in the trade and Asian contribution is around 54% . Singapore has become the trading hub for Asia maintaining around 20% global market share. Against the increasing Demand for ornamental fish which has been steadily growing for the past few decades Sri lanka is poised to cater to capture large share in the market from its present 3-4% share . According to the FOC (Food and Agriculture Organization) global trade of Aquarium fish and related accessories, has expanded up to USD 300 Millions.
The trade is also, identified as a growing sector with capabilities to provide additional income to the farmers in the dry zone, particularly in Pollonaruwa district, where water quality and chemical composition of the earth is conduce to breeding the brightest hued Gold Fish – a rarity in any part of the world.
2.0 Product Range
Consist of freshwater, brackish water and Marine fish species and invertebrates
Freshwater aquarium fish comprise the more colorful and more striking members such as,
Live bearers eg. Guppies, Plates, Molies
Gold Fish eg. Fan tails, Orandas, Redcaps
Barbs eg. Golden barbs, Rosy barbs
Danios eg. Zebra danio
Tetras eg. Serpae, Neon
Cichlids e.g. Angels, Oscars, Discus
Marine fish and invertebrates are collected by experienced scuba divers without the use of any chemicals and carefully quarantined to guarantee the best quality when they reach the customer.
There are about 250 species of marine fish and more than hundred species of marine invertebrates to choose from. However, the restrictions are being placed on the export and sale of wild caught species with the increasing concern of conservation
3.0 Quality Standards
The quality of exportable fish is generally assessed by their body appearance, behavior, sharpness and brightness of the colour and the body form. Sometimes body of the fish may be deformed due to many reasons like nutrients deficiency and genetical reasons which reduce the quality of the fish. Appearance of the fins and their uniformity is very important in assessing the quality; also it should not damage or tear.
A certificate is issued by the Department of Animal Quarantine on health (to ensure that the fish are in good health) and will be accompanied with each and every shipment.
4.0 Licenses & Certifications Required
i. Health Certificate ( Dept. of Animal Quarantine)
ii. Certificate of Origin( Dept. of commerce)
iii. GSP Form A for marine fish or plants( Dept. of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources)
iv. Permit for restricted species (Dept. of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources)
v. Water quality certificate( NARA / ITI)