Environment

Murky waters

Where did your ornamental fish come from?

by Naomi Clark-Shen

Ornamental fish are the most popular pets in the world: millions of individuals are traded globally, generating US$3 billion a year. Singapore is a global hub for keeping and exporting these fish. While most of the fish traded are now bred in captivity, many are taken from the Amazon river. So how does this trade operate? And most importantly—does your pet fish have a dark past?

The origins of the ornamental fish trade
The capture of wild fish

Fishermen brave the Amazon river in small dugout canoes. 

Ready to take flight

Fish are packed into boxes for transportation. 

The capital of the fish industry: Singapore

Prices in SGD$ and representing a range, acquired from visiting multiple fish shops in Singapore. 

From Singapore to the world
Where do we go from here? Back to the beginning
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at hello@kontinentalist.com
Naomi Clark-Shen / Writer

Naomi was a data journalist at Kontinentalist. She is a marine scientist who has commitment issues so works on a variety of projects. In her free time, she likes to be in the ocean, in the mountains, or in the wrestling ring.

Credits
Design / Joceline Kuswanto
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