Why Asian Arowana is expensive?

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I have done this article long time ago for another forum I was actively in. Doing some "clean up" on my computer recently...I thought I take it out and share it here. It just a general description, as I am not looking into reading up hundreds of pages book.May it serves as food for thought for some. Perhaps some other will like to join in and put in more thoughts. Enjoy!
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The Asian Arowana Scleropages formosus is considered one of the most expensive freshwater fish in the world. With its brightly colored scales and barbells at the tip of its mouth, it is also known as the Dragon Fish, or sometimes referred as the Asian bonytongue. It is also believed by many as a recreation of the mysticism Dragon, a powerful protector against evil. It has a significance value especially in the Chinese culture. Not only that but they are considered to be �lucky� fish. I have also often heard belief that these magnificent fish could keep its owner from danger by sometimes dying itself. It is believed to be used as a fengshui fish too.

One reason why Asian Arowanas are expensive is because they are endangered. They are framed and sold under license in places where it is legal to sell them. Lots of Asian people, especially businesspeople believe these dragon fishes bring them good luck and fortune.

Another reason will be reproduction. Asian Arowanas are difficult to breed in captivity. They need large outdoor ponds, although successful spawning had been recorded in aquaria. Not to forget that they slow in maturity too.

The increasing scarcity of this fish is another factor in its price tag. Demand is higher than the supply rate. They are now less seen in the habitats of the Malay Peninsula, where they were once widely distributed. In Singapore, all Asian Arowanas for sale have to be electronically tagged and certified, since it is an endangered species. Arowana is most prized in the following order; red, gold, and then sliver color.

This popularity has led to extensive illicit trade. For example, captive-bred fish may be traded if specimens are tagged with a glass-covered microchip inserted under the skin that can be read by a scanner. Proper CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) permits and a certificate with the microchip number must also accompany each fish. Asian Arowanas is still banned in certain countries like the United States. It cannot be possessed in that country without a permit.
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