Are you interested in ornamental fish culture?
Ornamental fish keeping is one of the most popular hobbies in the world today. The growing interest in aquarium fishes has resulted in a steady increase in trade globally, with a turnover of US$5 billion and an annual growth rate of eight per cent.
The earning potential of this sector in Jamaica has hardly been understood and the same is not being exploited in a technology driven manner.
Who leads the industry?
The top-producing country is Singapore, followed by Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Indonesia and India. The largest importer of ornamental fish is the USA, followed by Europe and Japan. The emerging markets are China and South Africa. Over US$500 million worth of ornamental fish are imported into the USA each year.
Status of ornamental fish industry in Jamaica
Ornamental fish are mainly sold locally through pet shops and street-side peddling. The value of the total ornamental fish produced and sold locally is to the tune of $15 million. This value represents 90 per cent of Jamaica’s total production. Only the remaining 10 per cent is being exported to other countries, primarily the USA, Canada and UK. Jamaica has potential for increasing the export market to over US$10 million over the next five years.
Opportunities for Jamaica
• Most favourable tropical weather conditions for breeding
• Abundant water and land resources for year-round production
• Close proximity to major markets
• Distinct advantage with respect to freight cost and journey time
Ornamental fish cultured in Jamaica
• Labyrinths (Fighters, Gourami)
• Live bearers (Molly, Guppy, Swordtails)
• Jamaican Blue Shark
How to start?
• Many varieties are easy to breed and grow
• Some of them are rare, difficult to breed and expensive
• Start with common, attractive, easily bred and less expensive varieties
• Do not start with challenging ones
Prerequisites to start ornamental fish business
• Market plan
• Land availability and features
• Water availability and quality
• Species of fish to be cultured
• Labour and management
• Technical support
• Tanks (plastic or concrete)
• Glass aquarium tanks
• Water supply with overhead tank
• Simple work shed with shed cloth
• Aeration equipment
• Quality feed and medication
– Provided by Ebony Park HEART Academy