On the 17th of December 2016 I travelled together with one of Indonesia’s best fish breeders, Pak Mulyadi, to the Indonesian Convention Exhibition (ICE) in South Tangerang, to attend the Indonesia’s 1st Ornamental Fish and Aquatic Plant Show. I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of everyone I met there. The aquascaping competition was the biggest I have ever seen. The exhibition was divided is several themes: Betta, Killifish, Goldfish, Guppy, Arowana and Lohan. My personal highlight were the amazing award-winning Lohan’s on display and the 1 meter+ Jumbo Koi!
Indonesia has huge potential to become a market leader in the aquarium business since many aquarium fish species originate from Indonesia. Other non-native species are also harvested in Indonesia, particularly in and around Bogor. However, most of the money is made in Singapore due the lack of sufficient infrastructure in Indonesia. Singapore buys fish cheaply from Indonesia and sells it on to other countries overseas. Changi Airport and the Port of Singapore are far more effective in handling the demand than the overcrowded airport of Soekarno-Hatta or the flood-prone port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta.
Despite this, the BRINusatic Ornamental Fish Show 2016 was a step in the right direction to commercialise the aquarium business in Indonesia. It united several fish-clubs into one joint show to make it appeal to a wider public. People from Ministry of Fisheries explained to me that this was the very reason why this show was held. I hope it will be held again soon!