In Mong Kok, on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, there is a street called Goldfish street. On Goldfish street vendors have been selling tropical fish, aquatic plants, and aquarium supplies to Hong Konger and foreigners alike since the 1970’s. The dealings started as a makeshift market a few blocks from what is now Goldfish central, then evolved into a more permanent collection of shops that have clearly established themselves. The 2007 and 2008 Grand Champions of the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest both have storefronts on Goldfish Street. In the 80’s and 90’s Hong Kong was in the top five exporters of tropical fish.
In Chinese culture goldfish are believed to bring good luck. The resulting tradition of keeping them in the home has brought substantial success to the goldfish trade. Another factor is the limited amount of space Hong Kong residents usually have in their homes. In apartments where a cat or dog would be a spacial hindrance, an attractive fish is a popular alternative. Some Hong Kong residents are concerned regarding the future of Goldfish Street. There was once a “Bird Street” but it vanished in the wake of modernizing changes to the Mongkok neighborhood, and some believe Goldfish Street is next. The business of the market today does not lend itself to such worries.