Among fascinating sights at the fest is a sea anemone cleaning parasites off a clown fish in the coral reef enclosure

It is not every day that you see a 146 kg Blue Marlin Sailfish, the fastest swimming fish in the sea. The Fisheries Survey of India stall at the four-day Fish Fest that got underway at Island Grounds on Thursday also has the Yellow fin tuna, which has good export value and is often referred to as sea chicken.

“We caught these fish a month ago and froze them at a specific temperature so that their colour remains intact. The tuna is good for health as it has very little fat,” said an official at the stall.

The fest, the first of its kind, is being organised by the fisheries department and was inaugurated by Fisheries Minister K.A. Jayapal in the presence of Fisheries Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi.

Among the fascinating sights is a sea anemone cleaning parasites off a clown fish in the coral reef enclosure. “The most attractive fishes are found near coral reefs. The electric blue damsel fish, the red star fish and discus fish are attractions here. It is very difficult to maintain an aquarium for marine fish as salinity has to be maintained,” explained an official of the department.

Many children including Nilofer Rahman and her brother Irfan Rahman from Sowcarpet were seen clicking pictures of the fishes in abandon. “I read about this fest in the papers and thought I would bring them here as it is very economical as well,” said their father Rahman, who manufacturers mosquito nets.

The names of fishes and their descriptions were of great interest to students such as D. Revathy of Perambur, her brother D. Yogesh and their cousin S. Senthamizh from Chidambaram who were celebrating Revathy’s 1056 marks in class XII.

Many visitors also came to the exhibition to purchase accessories including fish toys, fish food, glass bowls and air pumps. M. Srinivasan of Southern India Aquaculture said that many of those who have aquariums at home chose to buy imported accessories as they lasted longer. A large food court has stalls including those by the TNFDC, self-help groups selling dry fish and fish pickles and also one selling delicacies from Kerala.

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