Compared to breeding fish for meat, ornamental fish trade is a multibillion dollar industry today.
Plus, the government supports the ornamental fish industry by special policies.
According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Fishery, there has been a steady increase in fish production and exports. From 2018, 292 licensed farms occupying only 88.9 hectares of land are located mostly in districts 9, 12, Binh Chanh, Cu Chi, Go Vap, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc.
The country produced 182 million ornamental fish in 2018, a year on year rise of 17.4 percent. Also in 2018, the country earned US$22.39 million from exporting 20.31 million ornamental fish, respectively surging 11.5 percent and 11.6 percent compared to 2017.
Vietnamese pet fish are shipped to 46 countries, with Europe accounting for 55 percent of the market share, Asian with 28.95 percent, America with 14.44 percent, the Middle East with 0.92 percent and Africa with 1.63 percent.
In November, 2019 alone, the city produced nearly 12 million ornamental fish and exported more than 1.7 million fish accounting for 103.9 percent and earned $1.7 million making up 101.4 percent of the same period last year.
The city produced total 192.5 million pet fish and 19.7 million of them has been traded to foreign countries in 11 months of the year. The country netted $21 million from exporting pet fish in 11 months while it was $20 million last year.
The ornamental fish breeding is identified as a key product of the city’s agricultural sector because of its huge potential.
From 2016, the city has officially organized fairs of ornamental fish annually with the attendance of breeders and local and international enterprises to share experience in culture and collection.
In 2019, the fair saw the participation of enterprises from Hanoi, the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, the central city of Da Nang and the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Tien Giang.
At the fair, high technologies in rearing ornamental fish were displayed to help generate more profit.
Potential of ornamental fish is very great. However, some enterprises bumped into difficulties as they have had vast land for rearing fish. Luxhouse earning more than $1 million a year from exporting pet fish has linked with 50 farms in districts and in Long An, Tien Giang and Binh Duong provinces because it has difficulty in expanding breeding land.
Thien Duc Company annually sells around 4 million neon ornamental fish to the UK, France, Germany, the US, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland earning $100,000 - $150,000. Its representative said that only some Asian countries comprising of Vietnam are successful in rearing neon ornamental fish which was found in a Brazilian island reef.
However, production cost in Vietnam is higher than others because of shortage of laborers. The company has transferred breeding technique to farmers to help increase their income. On the other hand, authorities have organized fairs with the participations of foreign companies to expand market.
Owner of Nha Minh farm Tran Thi Quynh Nhi revealed that she connected with 10 local customers and four partners abroad after attending two exhibitions for aquarium and ornamental fish.