Aquarium fishes are generally known as ‘living jewels' due to their colour, shape, behaviour and origin. They are available in attractive colours and capable of living in confined waters. With the growing interest in fanciful varieties of brightly coloured specimen, aquarium fish culture has turned into a tremendous business. In recent years this hobby has spread all over the world. As a result, many countries in Asia and Europe have started capturing and culturing the colourful and fanciful breeds of the fishes. During the last four decades, there has been considerable growth and diversification in international trade for aquarium fishes which is valued at about US $ 5 billion and demand is growing up steadily.
Ratnagiri is situated in between Goa on the south and Mumbai on north along the Konkan coast endowed with floral and faunal biodiversity. There are plentiful varieties of coloured marine ornamental fishes, and other aquatic animals are also found. The behaviour, colour patterns, appearance and biology of some of the marine ornamental fishes are fascinating to observe. The streams, rivers, ponds of Konkan are also rich in variety of aquatic animals. It is well known fact that ‘Aquarium and Museum’ is working as an important tool for academic students as well as farmers to learn about fragile marine as well as freshwater aquatic ecosystem. It not only creates awareness among the general public about this field but also helps in creating awareness about the conservation of some endangered aquatic flora and fauna of the region. Keeping this in view, Marine Biological Research Station, Ratnagiri established ‘Marine Aquarium and Museum’ in 1958.
The Government of Maharashtra under the Department of Fisheries established Marine Biological Research Station (MBRS) in 1958 at Ratnagiri for scientific and planned development of fisheries on the south Konkan coast. This station is one of the premier institutes, especially in the south Konkan Coastal Fisheries Zone attached to Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, Dist.: Ratnagiri., having a mandate for catering development of fish production technologies, transferring the technologies to fish culturists, entrepreneurs and the industry, and to generate professionally trained manpower.
The station is maintaining a marine aquarium having some rare and beautiful specimens like Sea horse fish, Lion fish, Trigger fish, Sea-turtles, Eels, Sea – cucumbers, Star fish, Lobsters, sea snakes and many more which is well supported by sea – water filtration and re-circulation system.
Taking into consideration the growing demand of general public about aquarium, a beautifully arranged and well decorated separate freshwater aquarium section has been recently developed. In this section, along with beautiful and fancy colour fishes, one can also observe locally available freshwater aquatic species like prawns, crabs, turtles, barbs and aquatic plants.
The station has developed a unique fisheries museum comprising of about 1300 nos. having important specimens comprising fishes, crustaceans, molluscans, specimens, which includes of freshwater, brakishwater and marine water habitat of Konkan coast. All these specimens are identified and classified upto species level. This museum also possess well mounted precious and age-old skeleton of Whale. The original length of the whale being 55 feet long and 5000 Kg in weight is strongly appreciated by everyone who visits this station.
The Aquarium and Museum is located in Ratnagiri Municipal (in) area on west side of Ratnagiri city on Ratnagiri – Bhagwati Mandir Road and adjacent to Mandavi Beach (also called Gateway of Ratnagiri) at Pethkilla. It is nerely, 8 Km away from Ratnagiri Railway Station and 2 Km away from Ratnagiri Bus station.
In order to cope up with increased maintenance cost (e.g. labour, electricity, feed etc.) the ‘Aquarium and Museum’ is opened to all with service charges (as entry fee) as follows
Rs.5/- per person
|For Primary and Secondary School Children
(On written demand from Head of the school)
Rs.3/- per person
Every year atleast 45,000 to 50,000 visitors are visiting this ‘Aquarium and Museum’. Among these, 60 – 70 % visitors are school children and college students. These school children, college students and fish farmers visit this station and get the information about state of the art technological development in the fisheries field of fisheries.
Marine Biological Research Station,
Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth
Pethkilla, Ratnagiri (M.S.), India – 415 612
Tel. and Fax No. (02352) 232995