Ornamental fish farming project to diversify Mauritian fisheries sector

The Ornamental Fish Farming project offers a means to diversify and consolidate the fishing sector in Mauritius as the breeding of ornamental fish is a lucrative market that is gaining momentum. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the overall value of decorative fish exports is estimated at about 372 million USD and local cooperative societies can tap into this market.

The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, made this statement, this morning, during a site visit at the Albion Fisheries Research Centre, where a hatchery has been set up and breeding of ornamental fish is being carried out on an experimental basis.

He recalled that the tropical climate and the availability of several species in Mauritius are conducive for breeding and this activity represents a great opportunity for local cooperatives. In this context, some 29 co-operators and eight officers from the Albion Fisheries Research Centre have received training in this field. These training sessions have been conducted by an expert from Taiwan, deputed by the African Asian Rural Development Organisation, from 15 to 29 September last year.

Minister Bholah further dwelt on the breeding techniques, the different stages as well as the conditions to be met for the project to be a success. He also recalled that Budget 2019/2020 has made provision of a grant of Rs 25 000 to 20 cooperative societies for the setting up of ornamental fish breeding farms.

A working session will soon be held with the co-operators who have been benefitted from the training. Ornamental fishes will then be handed over to them and they will have to follow the instructions and norms established for the breeding.