Ornamental fish industry gets shot in the arm

Making waves: An arowana on display at the aqua fair.

JOHOR BARU: The ornamental fish industry has great potential and is now being promoted after it was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, says the Fisheries Department.

Its Aquaculture Division senior director Datuk Azahari Othman said Malaysia is among the top three producers of the discus fish.

“We see great potential in the ornamental fish industry.

“About 10 years ago, we were one of the top producers of ornamental fish.

“However, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the industry and slowed things down.

“With things now returning to normal, the department and local fish breeders are beefing up efforts to promote our ornamental fish,” he told reporters after launching the Johor Aqua Fair exhibition here yesterday.

Azahari said that in 2022, Malaysia produced some 234 million ornamental fish worth RM453mil.

“This industry could help boost the country’s economy and we are working towards entering other markets around the world, especially European countries.

“We are also glad to see industry players taking the initiative to organise fairs and exhibitions to promote our ornamental fish.

“In the past, the Fisheries Department used to organise the Malaysia Aqua Fair, but we stopped doing so since 2013.

“Industry players organised the fair for the first time since then last year.

“This is a very good move that will help us to reach our fullest potential,” Azahari said.

He said there has also been an increase in interest among Malaysians, including youngsters in exploring the industry.

“We encourage them to join the industry and will give the necessary support to help them kick-start their business,” he said.

Apart from discus fish, Malaysia also produces other ornamental fish like goldfish, betta fish and arowana.

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