Species in the trade

There are three categories that the wild-caught species that are currently traded can be roughly divided into based on their importance to the trade.

Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrhis)

Glass Catfish by Brian Gratwicke, from Flickr.com

The species that fall in Category I are those which are common in the trade and are caught and exported widely. Some examples of such species in Southeast Asia are clown loach (Botia macracanthus), eel-loaches (Pangio spp.), lancer (Luciosoma setigerum), two-spot catfish (Mystus bimaculatus) and glass catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrchus).

Tiger Barb 1

Eyed Tiger Barb by Melissa Estuesta, from Flickr.com

Next, the species that fall in Category II are traded infrequently or in small-scale, but are potentially gaining popularity and export. A few examples are the neon rasbora (Rasbora axelrodi), Hasselt’s goatfish (Osteochilus hasseltii), glowlight rasbora (Rasbora pauciperforata), six-banded tiger barb (Puntius hexazona), zebra barb (Puntius gemellus), eyed tiger barb (Puntius rhombocellatus), swamp loach (Neohomaloptera johorensis), Bornean clown catfish (Leiocassis mahakamensis), brown clown catfish (Pseudomystus fuscus), glass catfishes (Pseudeutropius spp.), red dragon eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia), and fighting fishes (Betta spp.)

Freshwater Sawfish

Saw FIsh by Stacina, from Flickr.com

Species that fall in Category III  are costly and cater to the more affluent end of the market. Species in this category include arowana (Scleropages formosus), red-flag giant gouramy (Osphronemus laticlavius) and sawfish (Pristis microdon).

Native species that have been exploited consist of Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), kissing fish (Helostoma temminckii), gouramy (Trichogaster trichopterus), bala shark (Balantiocheilos melanopterus), scissor-tail barb (Barbodes altus), tiger barb (Puntius tetrazona), walking catfish (Clarias batrachus) and giant catfish (Pangasius sutchi). Most of these species have been selectively bred, resulting in an extensive amount of different breeds of each.