Native ornamental fishes and trade: possibility for socio economic upliftment for local fishermen of Barak Valley, Assam

Presented by
Banasree Sharma
Research ScholarAuthors
Banasree Sharma , Jayashree Rout And Saroj Kumar Swain

Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Ornamental fishes are characterized by wide variety of colour and colour pattern and are commercially important fishes. Barak valley comprises of many river tributaries and wetlands which are highly potential for ornamental fishes. The present study attempts to document the ornamental fishes of Barak valley and sustainable use of native ornamental fishes for agribusiness opportunity, which may reduce the exploitation from natural sources, leading to extinction.

Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
The present study on ornamental fish diversity is based on survey in different fish markets and landing sites during December 2011 to June 2013. The fishes were collected and preserved immediately in 10% Formalin for identification. The species were identified with available taxonomic works: Jairam (1999)& Talwar and Jhingran (1991). Species were further consulted with ZSI for confirmation. Preliminary survey was carried out in the fish market followed by semi-structured questionnaire.IUCN (2013) red list data was consulted to see the conservation status of the fishes.

Results: What are your most important results?
A total number of 50 fish species of ornamental value belonging to 37 genera, 25 families and 9 orders were recorded. Of these the family Cyprinidae had highest representation with 12 species followed by the family Schilbeidae and Cobitidae (4 species each), Bagridae, Mastacembelidae and Ambassidae (3 species each), Anabantidae, Osphronemidae and Channidae (2 species each) and rest all were represented by single species.

Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
The conservation status of the fishes revealed that 7% of the fishes were threatened, 4% not evaluated and 10% were data deficient. Ornamental fishes are virtually consumed as food fish with a much lower price, which the fishermen could earn their livelihood for selling live ornamental fishes after gaining skilled knowledge on proper catching method and acclimatization procedure besides enhancing knowledge on conservation and propagation method.