350 ornamental fishes seized at intnl airport

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Chennai, Jan 10 (UNI) Officials of Customs Air Intelligence seized three abandoned boxes containing 350 ornamental fishes at the Anna International airport here last night.

Air Customs Commissioner C Rajan said the seizures included two species of coral reef fish, clown and butterfly fish.

About 35 of the 350 ornamental fishes were found dead.

He said the officials, on suspicion, opened the abandoned boxes and effected the seizure.

While the ornamental fishes were handed over to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park at suburban Vandalur, the coral reef fishes were handed over to the Zoological Survey of India, he added.

Officials said the butterfly fish acted as a bio-indicator and health-indicator of coral reefs. Its displayed in aquariums in South East Asian countries and in India the price of colourful coral reef fishes ranged between Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 depending on the species and its rarity.

In Tamil Nadu, the butterfly and clown fishes were illegally collected from the Gulf of Mannar and nearby areas and illegally exported, officials said.

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