KOCHI: As part of its exhibition-cum-education programme, the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), will showcase a wide variety of indigenous and exotic ornamental fish at the newly-opened museum of aquatic species and the public aquarium. The museum will be open to the public from 10 am to 7 pm, including Saturday and Sunday.
A collection of 200 species of molluscs including gastropods and bivalve, besides a wide array of indigenous fish varieties including rare species in the Western Ghats under threat of extinction, will be on display at the museum. Around 400 species of freshwater and marine fish with sharks and rays are included in the museum.
The public aquarium includes marine aquarium, freshwater aquarium, plasma aquarium and koi pond and features nearly 1,500 varieties of fish of different aquatic environment comprising of over 15 species of indigenous and exotic freshwater fish. The main attraction of the museum are the marine ornamental fish which include lion fish, butterfly, blue damsel, moray eel, reef cod, and clown fish. Also on display will be a combination of several indigenous and exotic aquatic plants set in different style.
Visitors will now have the chance to watch and observe the wonders of aqua-species in marine and inland water bodies, in addition to acquiring knowledge in connection with aquarium keeping, ornamental fish culture, details on species in the museum and basics in fish farming and disease diagnosis.
Classes and awareness programmes will be arranged by the varsity for those who visit in groups with prior information. Awareness will be given on backyard ornamental fish farming, a cost-effective means of self-employment especially for housewives, as part of the programme.
The fish and shrimp farms, experimental ponds and hatchery have also been included in the exhibition-cum-education package to attract visitors. People can learn the basics of the aquaculture by visiting the farming ponds.
In order to make the project self-sustainable, a nominal entree fee of Rs 20 for adults, Rs 10 for children of the age below 15 and Rs 5 for school students visiting in groups not less than 10, is charged from the visitors.