Siamese fighting fish or betta fish, the colorful creatures famously known as the default background of iPhone 6s, will officially be declared Thailand’s national marine creature on Nov. 23.
The cabinet approved the Department of Fisheries’ proposal to honor the Siamese fishing fish, a species entrenched in the lives of Thais for centuries. In the past, fish fighting was considered a popular spectator sport.
Since 2013, the Department of Fisheries attempted to increase the value of Siamese fighting fish by educating Thai farmers on the breeding and the promotion of their fish.
Amornrat Swemwattanakul, the department’s acting fish specialist, said the farmers have greatly improved the colors of their betta, resulting in a price increase from THB3-THB5 to THB30-THB200 per fish, Thairath reported.