India – Chennai, 8-10 January 2010
The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) organized the 3rd International ornamental aquatic event in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, after an incredible successful IndAquaria 2009 in Kolkatta were Heiko Bleher and Aquapress Publishers had also been invited. Major and emerging market experts came from around the world, as well as importers and exporters to share their experience on markets and the marketing of ornamental fish. This was for everyone interested in ornamentals a must, as it is the greatest and most unique event on the Indian Subcontinent with over 50 exhibition stalls.
Inaquaria 2010 was again very well attended and a special large tent was built for over 50 stalls in the centre of southern India’s largest city, Chennai, in the YMCA grounds. MPEDA (The Marine Products Export Development Authority) has it organized again perfectly. Natasha and Heiko were invited together with their company Aquapress Publishers form Italy after the successful Indaquaria 2009 in Kolkata. It was very well attended by people from Europe, America and Asia, as well as from most parts of India.
MPEDA is for years working on the development of setting up breeding units for rural people with its Green Certification and Rainbow Revolution. For the 5 main states they have scheduled already about 1350 and over 300 are breeding units are in function already. They sponsor 50% of the cost of each unit up to 7.5 Lakh. Unfortunately they have not made a prototype of a perfect breeding facility and many of the built units are inadequately constructed and not laid out very well. But let us have a look at the exhibition and some of the great stalls.
My very old friend and once the largest importer of ornamental fish in France, Didier Gendre (his company is over 100 years in business, for 3 generations like mine) has opened a breeding and wholesale company in southern India called Jodi Fisheries, which is run by the Israel guppy expert breeder, Joseph, here together both with Heiko on their small nice stand with many interesting native fishes, some shown here. And as judge I gave their stand the 2nd place, which was also accepted by the other 2 judges. Here Didier with the Trophy.
I gave this nice small stand my best vote, and they have won. Here they received the 1st prize from the Hon’ble Prof . K. V. Thomas, Minister of State for Agriculture.
The 1st prize for the best aquarium in the show went to the most natural biotope aquarium of an original habitat of the River Kumaradhara. Where the elusive cichlid Etroplus canarensis lives endemic, with 15 other species including all other Etroplus species. This actually made me a little proud. I had lectured one year earlier to Indian’s to do biotopes and showed how the aquarists around the world go more and more into biotope aquariums, as they can see that their fishes feel much better and many even start to spawn once give their “home”, as in nature. (See some of our videos or Bleher’s Biotopes how fishes start to lay eggs the moment they are placed in their own biotope.) Now these great guys, Ashwin Rai and Ronald D’ Souza went to one spot in that particular river, looked carefully what lives there and placed not only the authentic rocks, but also the 2 plants species growing there together with the 15 fish species they had seen in that habitat. They even placed the snails and shrimps living there. It was perfect and they won very well deserved. They also won the prize for 3rd best stand. Here they also received their 1st and 3rd prize from the Minister as well.
And my dear friend the great Push with his new breeding, holding and export facility, near the international airport of Cochin, Travancore Aquapets , has also listen to me: he won the 1st prize for the best fish in the show. Horaichthys setnai (now laced into Orizias), one of the most amazing freshwater fishes (some populations live land locked, some in brackish habitats), where its male has a penis almost two thirds the length of its body. No other known fish on earth has such a long organ compared to its body size. Heiko was the first to collect and introduce it alive and Push has this unique fish now exclusively worldwide. But Push had also the Tranvacoria elongata, a hill stream loach Heiko found two years ago, and several other rare native fishes. With the Horaichthys he received the 1st prize from the hands of the Minister of Agriculture – well deserved Push.
There were many more stands at the exhibition, which had improved amazingly from the exhibition in Kolkata last year, I was very positively surprise how fast India advances in the ornamental fish hobby and breeding. There was also a farm visit scheduled, which unfortunately was somewhat of a disappointment. The first one was US AQUA and a brand new place, also up to 25% sponsored by MPEDA, but without a real concept. Could be done better.
If they (MPEDA) would have a prototype and instruct the builders how a breeding and holding facility has to be build, this would be of great help.
The second farm, over one year old, also an MPEDA project in the Chennai region, was a little better. At least the owner has taken care to prevent from transmitting germs: with an entrance to disinfect the shoes; each vat has its individual net; and he has a good breeding stock on life food for his babies. Such as white worms or Paramecium culture for the newly hatched.
Jodi Fisheries, the fish farm build by Didier Gendre from France, with the help of Joseph, is the only one so far which is more practical in every sense. Easy access to the vats (maybe the filters are not adequate), to the aquariums and racks and the quarantine and shipping rooms are separate buildings, as well as the office. Some knowledge went into this construction site. Congratulations Didier and Joseph.