Coastal Ornamental Aquaculture as Livelihood Option and Its Vulnerability to Climate Change
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Keywords:Brackish-water ornamental fish, Climate change, Livelihood options
India is blessed with substantial brackishwater fish diversity all along the 8129 km coastline with an estimated potential brackishwater area of 1.24 million ha. The present coastal aquaculture, which is emerging as a significant foreign exchange earner, aims to increase food production for both the domestic and international markets. In recent times fishes used for recreational purpose is gaining importance. On the other hand, there is a pressing need to explore all the options to diversify the culture system. Ornamental fish keeping is a significant hobby world over. India is also a contributor to the world aquarium trade though its share is meagre. Presently around 150 species of indigenous small fishes are exported mostly freshwater in origin captured from wild resources. Overexploitation of wild stock will have disastrous consequences on the fragile ecosystem. However, considering the resources and emerging technologies, India can do better in the field of ornamental fish culture. Time has come to tap the potential of coastal ornamental aquaculture, thus providing livelihood option for coastal communities. However, at the same time, the threat of climate change is real, especially in the coastal ecosystem. These ecosystems are fragile which need development adaptive measures to deal with it. This paper describes the present scenario envisaging the strategies to tap opportunities in the brackishwater ornamental aquaculture for livelihood, addressing the challenges posed by climate change within a policy framework.
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