Home » EDB, Universities and Associations Join forces to boost ornamental fish exports

EDB, Universities and Associations Join forces to boost ornamental fish exports


By: Staff Writer

January 21, Colombo (LNW): Export Development Board (EDB), Sri Lankan Universities and Associations Joined forces to strengthen ornamental fish Industry and boost Exports.

Since its establishment, the Sri Lanka Tropical Fish Exporters’ Association (SLTFEA) has maintained close collaboration with essential stakeholders, including breeders, growers, suppliers, and diverse Governmental and non-Governmental entities, to ensure the protection of the industry.

Although Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish exports are currently limited in quantity and value compared to its total exports, there’s enormous untapped potential in this sector.

This potential is due to the country’s rich diversity of 111 ornamental fish species thriving in various aquatic environments, including freshwater, brackish, and marine habitats.

A collaborative effort led by the Export Development Board (EDB) alongside Sri Lankan Universities, The Tropical Ornamental Fish Association and Sri Lanka Ornamental Fish Farmers’ Association have organized a one-day workshop on 11th January 2024.

The main aim of this workshop was to help improve the export potential of ornamental fish, support grassroots development, and enhance the abilities of exporters.

This initial stage of the workshop is directed at esteemed universities such as Uwa Wellassa University in Passara, University of Ruhuna in Matara, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka in Anuradhapura, and University of Wayamba in Kurunegala.

The day-long program has covered several essential topics, discussing selected research findings. Areas of focus include live feed production, Best Management Practices (BMPs), high-density packaging, aquatic plants, aquascaping, and insights into export procedures.

Sri Lanka has gained recognition in the global market for exporting top-quality tank-bred fish and wild-caught marine species. In 2022, the Sri Lankan ornamental fish industry achieved impressive annual export revenue of USD 22 million.

While 70% of the overall production comprises freshwater fish species, there exists substantial room for further growth. Expanding production and enhancing quality standards are crucial to meet the current global market demands and standards.

The ornamental fish industry comprises various stakeholders, including fish breeders, farmers, out-growers, middlemen, collectors, and exporters from different parts of the island.

However, operating within a highly unpredictable business environment poses continuous challenges.

The major hurdles often encountered involve a lack of initial knowledge, lower production quality, and insufficient fish feed supplies.

 Overcoming these challenges is vital, as it aims to provide the necessary support to these stakeholders, enabling them to enter and thrive in the competitive international market.

A recent report shows that in 2022, the export value of ornamental fish reached Rs. 7,143 million. The market for these fish was valued at $ 6.8 billion in 2019 and it is estimated to grow significantly, reaching around $ 11.3 billion by 2025.

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