ND30 Strain, Red Strains
# of Farms
m3, with 100% daily water exchange. Automatic feed blowers are used in all tanks.
Tilapias were first introduced into the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. These early introduc- tions were conducted by public aquaria for display purposes and by government agencies interested in the potential of tilapia for use in food production and as biological controls for aquatic weeds and insects. Tilapia were also introduced into the Hawaiian Is- lands as a potential baitfish for the tuna industry.
A small domestic market will develop, but most production will go to the US as fillet product. COMFISH is expected to increase production.
Trinidad and Tobago
O. mossambicus were first imported to Trinidad in the 1940s and 1950s but were never accepted by the populace. Red strains were imported from Ja- maica in 1983; O. niloticus were imported in 1986. These varieties were accepted by consumers and producers alike. The islands have 562 small scale (subsistence) farmers operating 706 ponds, with a total pond area of 71.6 ha. Average pond size is 0.07 ha. The government operates a commercial farm through Caroni Limited. This farm includes a hatch- ery and 9.5 ha of tanks and ponds (Ramnarine and Ramnarine 1997). Approximately 16 t of tilapia were produced in 1995, over 18 t in 1996, 22 t in 1997, and for 1998 the estimate is 28 t. Tilapia is pres- ently sold at TT$13/kg. (US$1.00 = TT$6.30). The major portion of the tilapia produced is consumed locally, with only a small percentage now being ex- ported to North America and Europe (see Ramnarine, This vol.). Red tilapia strains are the most commonly reared, along with small amounts of O. niloticus and O. mossambicus. Many of the farms produce tilapia in polyculture with “cascadu” (the armoured catfish, Haplosternum littorale) (A. Potts, pers. comm.).
Tilapia aquaculture has grown from early efforts which concentrated on supplying the fish to irriga- tion districts and natural resource agencies for weed control to development of domesticated strains that are used almost exclusively for production of fish for direct human consumption. Tilapia have fallen out of favor as biological control agents for weeds in North America because of the greater control that can be achieved with the triploid grass carp.
Most production in the US occurs in recirculat- ing systems that use greenhouses or industrial waste heat to maintain optimum growing conditions. In Arizona, California, and Idaho, geothermal waters are used. In the southeastern US pond culture is possible (see Hargeaves, This vol.). Most US pro- ducers sell to niche markets concentrating on live sales and ethnic restaurants. New markets are de- veloping as processors have developed value-added products (marinated, breaded and microwave ready) that are gaining market share (Table 3).
O. aureus, O. niloticus, Red
# of Farms
Yes, recirculating systems
Trinidad & Tobago
Red Strains, O. niloticus, O. mossambicus
# of Farms
Production (t) Consumption (t) New investment
28 ~26 Some
Consumption and production will slowly in- crease. Some farms will adopt more intensive pro- duction techniques.
The US will continue to be a major market for tilapia products from other countries. Domestic pro- duction will increase steadily as niche markets widen and value-added product forms gain acceptance. The US will continue to be a technology center for the entire region, developing recirculation techniques that will be adapted to hatcheries and growout fa- cilities.
O. mossambicus were first introduced from Trinidad in 1959. Commercial tilapia production was