Rameswaram:  The Central Marine Fisheries Research Centre has proposed to draw up Green Certification guidelines jointly with the Marine Products Export Development Authority for marine ornamental fish breeding so that dependence on wild collection from coral reef habitations could be reduced.

Guidelines would help in following green methods in capturing and marketing marine ornamental fish, CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan told reporters at Mandapam near here last evening.

The guidelines would fetch better prices.The guidelines could be similar to what was prevailing for ornamental fish breeding, he said.He felt the Marine Aquarium Council’s guidelines should be modified to suit Indian conditions.

Stating that there was a growing interest in aquarium fishes, he said the global ornamental fish trade had a turnover of USD 7.5 billion, with eight per cent annual growth.

He said India, despite having very wonderful and highly diverse species,was having less than one per cent share in the global market.The total marine exports from India was Rs.19,500 crore last year but the share of ornamental fishes stood at a paltry Rs.6.5 crore, he said, adding 90 per cent of the exported fishes were caught in the wild.

He also inaugurated a training programme for breeding marine ornamental fish,and said it would be an alternative livelihood for fisherfolk.

The Mandapam CMFRI had developed breeding and hatching technologies for 16 species that commanded international demand G.Gopakumar,Scientist-in-charge, said.

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