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Tilapia 101: Fundamentals of Rearing

Tilapia

‘Tilapia’ are fish species that are fresh water cichlids but some species are described as being eurhyaline. a term which means that they can tolerate and adapt to different water salinity levels including, under certain conditions, sea water.

There are some 80 species of tilapia where almost all of them are of African origin although a few species come from the Israeli and Jordanian geographic regions. From all of these species, only a few tilapia species possess the characteristics required for interest in commercial fish fanning. It should be noted that the scientific classification confers to ’tilapia’ several different species names, notably Sarotherodon and Oreochromis.

Tilapia is also identified under a number of different generic names; it can be called “carpe” in West Africa, “St Peter’s Fish” in Israel, “bream” in Southern Africa, “mojarra” in Latin America and, of course, under many different local names.

The biology of many individual tilapia species is now well known and the interest in using these species for fish farming has led to considerable developments in recent decades.

The principal practical reasons for farming tilapia are:

a.) simple reproduction/breeding processes;

b.) rapid growth rate;

c.) good tolerance to high stocking densities and intensive rearing conditions;

resistance to physical handling.

It is therefore a robust performer that reduces many of the general risks encountered in fish stock farming. Tilapia has also a very good reputation with consumers, usually available at a reasonable price which, combined with the high quality of its flesh, allows it to occupy a good place in most markets.

Breeding

The reproduction of tilapia is

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Source: Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations

2 Comments
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