Want To Start Up a Tilapia Farm?
Find Out here all you need to know about Tilapia Fish
What Is Tilapia Fish ?
Tilapia fish are freshwater fish that belongs to a large family of fish called cichlid.
Tilapia is shaped like a sunfish or crappie, and has white, flaky meat that gives a mild and non-fishy taste.
Tilapia is exported year round in both "fresh" and frozen form.
Cheaper than most other types of fish, tilapia is also safer to eat than many other varieties, as tilapia fish tend to eat mostly algae and aquatic plants and therefore very few contaminants such as mercury are absorbed into its body.
Tilapia is low in calories and sodium, is a good source of niacin, phosphorus, B12, selenium, potassium and protein, making it one of the healthiest fish on the market today.
Depending on where you are based, Tilapia fish are sometimes identified under a number of different generic names.
For instance, tilapia fish is known as "Carpe" in some West African Countries; In Israel it is known as "St Peters" fish; in Southern Africa, tilapia fish is known as "bream"; and in Latin America, tilapia fish is known as "Mojarra".
Tilapia fish is native to Africa and has been present on African dinner plates for thousands of years.
The tilapia fish was introduced into many tropical and non tropical temperate regions of the world during the second part of the 20th century.
The introduction of tilapia fish into these other regions was done mainly for the following reasons:
- As a food source - tilapia fish is an edible fish food
- Recreational fishing purposes - aquariums, fishing sports etc
- Aquatic weed control and
- Research purposes
Tilapia need water temperatures above 10 - 12C degrees to survive and temperatures above 25C degrees to grow well.
Types Of Tilapia Fish
There are close to a 100 different strains of the the tilapia fish but only about 3 or 4 of them are farmed widely on a commercial basis.
The most popular ones for fish farming purposes are the
- Oreochromis niloticus - (Nile Tilapia)
- Oreochromis mossambica - (Mozambique Tilapia)
- Oreochromis aureus - (Blue Tilapia) and
- The Red Tilapia
Although tilapia is a freshwater fish, there are now some strains of tilapia fish that can not only survive in full strength sea water but also survive in cold weather regions.
A wide variety of true tilapia species are also available in the aquarium trade as well as a number of the Oreochromis and Sarotherodon species that are called tilapia in everyday speech.
Two of the most popular species among aquarists are:
- Tilapia buttikoferi and
- Tilapia mariae (Tiger Tilapia).
Tilapia Farming As A Business
Tilapia fish are the third most important cultured fish group in the world, after carps and Salmonids.
Tilapia culture is also one of the fastest growing farming activities, with an average annual growth rate of 13.4% during 1970–2002.
Tilapia fish is now widely cultured in over a 100 countries in the tropical and subtropical regions as opposed to the 1970's when only 12 countries were producing tilapia fish.
As a result, the production of farmed tilapia increased from 383,654 metric tonnes in 1990 to 1,505,804 metric tonnnes in 2002, representing about 6% of total farmed finfish in 2002.
The tilapia fish have many attributes that make it an ideal candidate for fish farming... especially in the developing countries.
Some of the characteristics that make tilapia fish quite attractive to the fish farmers all over the world today are as follows:
- Tilapia fish have a rapid growth rate so much more easy to start receiving an income on the money you have invested
- Tilapia fish have a good tolerance to high stocking densities and intensive rearing conditions
- Tilapia fish can tolerate and adapt to different water salinity levels including under certain conditions, sea water.
- Tilapia fish have a simple breeding process that can be easily produced on the fish farm
- Tilapia fish does easily reproduce even in captivity unlike some fish that will not reproduce in captivity
Apart from the benefits of ease of production enjoyed by tilapia fish farmers, tilapia is also a tasty and well loved fish that is very much enjoyed by consumers....(see nutritional benefits of consuming tilapia fish)
so in terms of a tilapia farming business, there is usually a ready market for tilapia fish that you can sell to as a fish farmer
If you are just starting up in fish farming or you already own your own fish farm, tilapia is one fish you seriously need to consider farming
Click here to see more reasons why tilapia fish is a good fish to culture
Want To Start Up Your Own Tilapia Farming Business?
If you are looking to easily and quickly start up your own tilapia farming business, you might want to try the following Resources & Tools to help you get started quickly as a Tilapia Fish Farmer :
Tilapia Farming Books & Guides
You will find books here in the Tilapia Section of our website. Click to visit our tilapia farming bookstore today
Tilapia Farming Tips
Also there are lots of articles, tips and information on tilapia fish farming here in our archives section. Click to visit our archives of articles containing top tips and information on various tilapia farming topics
Tilapia Farming Tutorials.
The toolkit below on tilapia farming also is a good start up kit for farming tilapia fish.
Click here or on the image below to find out more about the tilapia farming guide