A checklist of the ornamental fishes of Himachal Pradesh, the western Himalaya, India

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Indu Sharma
Rani Dhanze


Fifty-eight ornamental fish species belonging to five orders, 13 families and 36 genera occur in Himachal Pradesh. The dominant family is Cyprinidae (46.55%) followed by Nemacheilidae (15.51%); Sisoridae, Poeciliidae, Osphronemidae (9.89%); Cobitidae (5.17%); Amblycipitidae, Ambassidae, Badidae, Gobiidae, Helostomatidae, Cichlidae and Characidae (1.72%).  Of the 58 species, 27.58% are exotic and have been mainly imported for aquarium keeping.  The exotic species are being introduced in the region without any regulation, subsequently turning invasive and threatening the indigenous fauna.  Thus, there is a need for developing scientific guidelines and regulatory mechanisms for importing exotic aquarium fishes.  On the other hand, the breeding and culture of indigenous fishes can be a profitable venture, provided there is an availability of a standardized breeding technology.  Such an enterprise will go a long way in conservation of native fishes, improving livelihoods as well as raising the socio-economic status of local communities. 


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