M’sian ornamental fish industry to grow 20.4 per cent in 2011, says Fisheries Department

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s ornamental fish industry is expected to grow 20.4 per cent in 2011 to RM1.06 billion from the RM820 million expected this year, said the Malaysian Fisheries Department.

Its director general, Datuk Ahamad Sabki Mahmood said the production output of the industry is expected to increase to 963 million pieces from this year’s output of 800 million, driven by an increasing domestic and global demand.

“The rate of increase will surpass the projected 15 per cent expectation of the Ninth Malaysia Plan,” he told reporters at the soft launch of the Aquafair Malaysia 2010 Exhibition and Conference here yesterday.

Officiating the ceremony was Datuk Wira Mohd Johari Baharum, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries.

The event will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) from November 25 to 28.

Sabki said, Malaysia is currently among the world’s top producer of ornamental fish and aquatic plants, breeding more than 250 species from over 550 local and exotic varieties for the domestic and global markets.

“Currently, Malaysia is the seventh key exporting country for ornamental fish after Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Spain and the Czech Republic.

“In 2009, the Malaysian ornamental fish industry registered a production output of 632.2 million pieces valued at RM783.2 million against the 733 million pieces worth about RM749 million in 2008,” he added.

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in 2006, the global market size for ornamental fish and aquatic plants was estimated at RM46.5 billion (US$15 billion) and is expected to grow between 10 to 15 per cent annually.

Asian countries contributed about 59 per cent of the global production and are also the main importers, accounting about 56 per cent of the world ornamental fish import, followed by the European Union (39 per cent) and Africa (four per cent).

The Aquafair Malaysia 2010, endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, is jointly managed by Pico Integrated Exhibits (M) Sdn Bhd and Fairs and Events Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The event is dedicated to tapping and heightening the export potential of Malaysia’s ornamental fish industry, aquatics plants and the whole range of supporting industries and services.

Aquafair Malaysia is expected to draw more than 100 local and foreign companies, including those from Thailand and China, as well as local breeders for whom more than 60 per cent of the total participation at the exhibition has been reserved.

The exhibition is also expected to receive more than 15,000 trade and public visitors.

It will be open to the public on the third and fourth day with an entrance fee of RM5 for adults with free admission for senior citizens aged above 60 and children below 12 years old.— Bernama

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