Fish are popular pets and they’re often viewed as easy, accessible pets with a low price tag. Some people get really into building out elaborate aquariums, but others are content with a small goldfish from the fair or a pet store.
Even people who are really into fish and home aquariums would rightfully balk at the price tag of one of the world’s most expensive fish.
With a price tag of up to $300,000, it’s no wonder that the Asian Arowana is a rare addition as a family pet!
According to IFLScience, the Asian Arowana, also known as a dragon fish, range in price from a mere $300 to $70,000, with the most elaborate and expensive specimens selling for up to $300,000.
The Dallas World Aquarium describes the Asian Arowana as a prehistoric freshwater fish with large, colorful scales, a wide mouth, and whiskers. It got its nickname of “dragon fish” because “When it glides gracefully through the water, its pectoral fins often spread out, resembling a dragon in full flight.”
While these fish are now one of the most coveted pet fish in the world, they weren’t always so highly looked upon. In fact, National Geographic reports that the fish actually had humble beginnings and were hunted for centuries to serve as food in Southeast Asia. However, things changed in 1975 when the fish populations became to decline.
The populations of dragon fish dwindled so low that they were banned from international trade and added to the Endangered Species Act.
Journalist and author Emily Voigt, who traveled to 15 different countries in search of the Asian Arowana, claims that the protection added to the fish species actually did more harm for it than good. In an interview with The Hustle, she explained, “That official stamp of rarity totally backfired, and it actually turned the fish into this limited-edition luxury good.”
Accordin to National Geographic, the rarity of the species has lead to violent crimes, like when a rober punched an eledery woman to steal her dragon fish in Singapore.
Another incident left an aquarium owner stabbed and nearly beheaded for his collection of dragon fish. Beyond violence, the species are often imported illegally from other countries to the United States where they’re banned as a protected species.
It’s a strange world we live in, where people will nearly kill for a fish species that was once so common it was eaten like tuna.
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