Aquarium Sciences and Conservation

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 79–90 | Cite as

Freshwater fishes of Southeast Asia: potential for the aquarium fish trade and conservation issues

  • Peter K.L. Ng
  • H.H. Tan


SoutheastAsia is an area rich in biodiversity, with a high degree ofendemism in both flora and fauna. Many freshwater fish specieshave been exploited for the ornamental fish trade. As thepopulation in South East Asia increases, vast tracts of forestsare cleared for agricultural, industrial and urbanizationpurposes. To conserve and sustainably exploit the wild fishpopulation, measures should be adopted to protect this naturalresource. Already, several ornamental species have been severelyoverexploited, e.g. bala shark (Balantiocheilos melanopterus),pygmy loach (Botia sidthimunki) and arowana (Scleropagesformosus), but the extirpation of local populations occurs formany reasons, including deforestation, and not just because offishing for the trade. There are also still many species thathave great ornamental fish potential. Wild fish species have alsobeen successfully bred in captivity and conserved, e.g. tigerbarb (Puntius tetrazona), bala shark, pygmy loach and arowana.Other methods of conservation include public education, leavingpristine forests intact and reforestation. The aquarium trade ofthe bala shark, harlequin rasbora (Rasbora heteromorpha), clownloach (Botia macracanthus), arowana and sawfish (Pristismicrodon) is discussed

Freshwater fishes SoutheastAsia aquarium fish conservation biodiversity 


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter K.L. Ng
    • 1
  • H.H. Tan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore

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