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This Is The World's Most Expensive Pet Fish

Jul 19, 2016 08:29 AM EDT
Asian Arowana
Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) in Prague sea aquarium, Czech Republic
(Photo : Wikimedia/Karelj)

What would you do if you have $300,000 in the bank? Buy a new car or a beach property? How about getting yourself the world's most expensive pet fish?
The Asian arowana is hailed as the world's most expensive and coveted pet fish, but it is also one of the world's most endangered species.

Asian Arowana
(Photo : Flickr/Creative Commons/Will Fisher)
Closer look at the famous Asian Arowana

What is Asian arowana?

Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus), sometimes referred to as the dragon fish, is a bony-tongued fish of ancient lineage. They are mostly found in the lakes, deep parts of swamps and rivers and flooded forests of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. They can grow up to 36 inches

Why do people want them in captivity?

Since the 1970s, Asian arowana has been a highly valued species in the international aquarium trade. They are considered in some Asian cultures to bring good luck. Aside from its cultural value, the fish is incredibly beautiful. Unlike any other fish, it possesses green, golden and red color variations.

How rampant is illegal Asian arowana trade?

In an attempt to share the riveting story of the world's most coveted fish, Emily Voigt wrote a book titled "Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession and the World's Most Coveted Fish." She describes the thriving Asian arowana business in black market, with one fis priced at $150,000 to 300,000. Sold by the hundreds of thousands each year, these Asian arowanas are bred in high-security farms in Southeast Asia.

What is its current status?

Most of their population is in captivity, making them rare in their natural habitat. The Asian Arowana has been classified as an endangered species in the IUCN Red List.

The New York Post reported that while it cannot be legally brought into the United States as a pet, a black market that sells this species thrives from New York to Los Angeles.

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