By V P Sreelan
Thoppumpady : Through an Extraordinary Gazette notification, the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Government of India, has banned the display and sale of ornamental fishes. The curbs will apply to 158 species of fishes. The ministry has conveyed that the curbs are in tune with the 2016 legislation that seeks to protect animals from cruelty.
With the new curbs coming into effect, the multi-million ornamental fish industry in Kerala that had seen a major boom in the last 10 years will come under extreme duress. The major varieties of fish sold in Kerala markets, including clown fish, butterfly fish and angel fish are included in the varieties which cannot be bred, displayed or sold from now on.
The order also states that ornamental fishes should no more be kept in glass aquariums. They should not be displayed or sold along with other pet animals. The shops where fishes are kept must have a full time veterinary doctor and a help. The gazette also prohibits fishing from coral reefs.
Such restrictions will effectively weed out small scale ornamental fish sellers from the fray throwing thousands of people out of employment. Charles George, Convener of the ‘Matsyathozhilali Aikyavedi’, the United Front for Fishermen, has submitted a complaint to the state Fisheries Minister opposing the provisions notified in the gazette.
Source: Mathrubhumi English