Indigenous ornamental freshwater ichthyofauna of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, India: status and prospects

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Sandipan Gupta
Sourabh Kumar Dubey
Raman Kumar Trivedi
Bimal Kinkar Chand
Samir Banerjee


Ornamental fishes are the most popular pet throughout the world and high demand for these fishes has made them an important component of the world fish trade. India contributes a very meager percentage to the world ornamental fish trade; but considering the high ichthyofaunal diversity it has the potential to compete with the world’s leading ornamental fish producers in the near future. Sundarban Biosphere Reserve has abundant waterbodies with rich fish diversity. Although some research has been carried out on ichthyofaunal resources of the Sundarban; detailed documentation on freshwater indigenous ornamental ichthyofaunal resources of this region is still not available. To fill this knowledge gap, the present study has been conducted to list the indigenous ornamental ichthyofaunal resources of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve along with their conservation status and their prospective utilization for improved livelihood of local communities. Eighty four species belonging to 11 orders, 28 families and 59 genera were collected from the study area with species representing the order Cypriniformes dominating the ichthyofauna. Nine species have been listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Indigenous fish species of the Sundarban having great potential to support domestic as well as the international ornamental fish trade from India in near future. The ornamental fish species would also be able to generate alternate livelihood options for the impecunious communities of the Sundarban. However, serious concern must also be paid to the conservation of these fish species as some of them are under near threatened categories of IUCN Red list.


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Gupta, S., Dubey, S.K., Trivedi, R.K., Chand, B.K. and Banerjee, S. 2016. Indigenous ornamental freshwater ichthyofauna of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, India: status and prospects. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 8, 9 (Aug. 2016), 9144–9154. DOI:
Author Biographies

Sandipan Gupta, Aquaculture Research Unit Department of Zoology University of Calcutta Kolkata- 700019, West Bengal, India

Dr. S. Gupta is a hardcore ichthyologist; having proficiency on fish diversity and fish biology. He is presently working on the effect of climate change on breeding periodicity of some important commercial fish species in river Ganga and is linked as a research associate at ICAR-CIFRI, Barrackpore. 

Sourabh Kumar Dubey, Department of Aquatic Environment Management, Faculty of Fishery Sciences, West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, Kolkata-700094, West Bengal, India

 S.K. Dubey currently involves in MOEFCC project and worked in the rigorous region of Indian Sundarban and has a wide range of experience in exploring the floral and faunal diversity of Sundarban. He is also worked on climate resilient aquaculture strategies on Sundarban.


Raman Kumar Trivedi, Department of Aquatic Environment Management, Faculty of Fishery Sciences, West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, Kolkata-700094, West Bengal, India

Prof. R.K. Trivedi is well known in the sphere of Sundarban research since last decades and carries out various capacities of research programs on environmental science, biodiversity conservation and climate change issues. He is now currently handling MOEFCC project as principal investigator. He is fascinated in interdisciplinary research focused on generating information and developing methods to support conservation decision-making process.

Bimal Kinkar Chand, Directorate of Research, Extension & Farms, West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, Kolkata-700037, West Bengal, India

 Dr. B.K. Chand carried out several research projects and worked on various issues on aquaculture, alternative livelihood and climate change issues in Sundarban. He is currently involves in technology up-gradation in aquaculture throughout the India through coordination of different agencies and public-private partnerships at NFDB. 

Samir Banerjee, Aquaculture Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata- 700019, West Bengal, India

Prof. S. Banerjee is the former Hiralal Chaudhuri Professor in Fisheries & Head, Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta and also the Hony. Secretary of the Zoological Society, Kolkata. He has a teaching experience of 41 years in Under Graduate & Post Graduate; and having a vast experience of 36 years of research.



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