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FUTURE TRENDS OF TILAPIA AQUACULTURE IN THE AMERICAS - page 4 / 13

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Fitzsimmons

Figure 2. US tilapia imports (t)

Imports (t)

25,000

Fillet Fresh

Fillet Frozen

20,000

Whole Frozen

30,000

1996

15,000

1994

1995 Year

10,000

5,000

0

1992 last 6 m o only

1993

1997

Brazilian aquaculture trade journals. Brazil has also developed a leather trade based on tilapia skins. Belts, purses, wallets, and briefcases are the most popular items produced from the skins. Virtually all tilapia produced in Brazil are consumed domesti- cally. Exports to the US fell from 1.2 t in 1997 to 0 t in 1998.

Additional rapid expansion of the industry is expected. With the devaluation of the real in early 1999, exports to the US are likely to increase. Mod- ern processing plants currently provide high qual- ity product to the domestic markets that could meet HACCP guidelines for the US market.

# of Farms

N/A

Production (t)

25,000 (aquaculture)

Consumption (t)

30,000

New investment

Yes

Brazil

O. niloticus, Red Strains

5,000 (wild catch)

Production will increase rapidly. Domestic de- mand will not increase as quickly. Brazil will begin exports to countries in the region and to the US. In- ternational demand for tilapia skin products will provide an extra stimulus to the industry.

Canada

Canada is one of the most interesting locations for tilapia production, and in the late 1990s has be- come a focus of new production and marketing. Toronto is widely recognized to be the single larg- est market for live tilapia in North America. The mar-

ket for live tilapia exceeded 500 t in 1998. Several of the ethnic communities in Toronto, especially the Chinese, compose a lucrative market for producers in the eastern US and Canada. A well developed dis- tribution system with live sales that appeal to sev- eral market segments has been organized for Toronto. Most of the supply of live tilapia comes from closed recirculating systems in the US, but several producers in Canada have begun to contrib- ute significant amounts to the market. Approval for commercial production of tilapia in Ontario was granted in 1995. Canadian growers are utilizing their expertise in greenhouse operations to operate closed recirculating systems that are producing fish that can compete with US product. Several of the producers have worked with the tilapia culture system devel- oped by the research team at Cornell University, while others have pioneered their own systems. One of the farms was able to acquire a pure line of O. niloticus directly from Lake Nasser in Egypt and are using fry from these breeders to stock their fa- cilities. These growers expect to market fry to other farms. Five farms are located in Ontario province, a 6th in Calgary and a 7th has been licensed in British Columbia. Several of the farms in Ontario are in the process of expanding and production is expected to double to 200 t within the next 2 y. The intent is to provide a ready supply to the Toronto market. Pro- duction from the existing farms has already driven down the prices paid to US producers as they must compete with farms within a short drive of the Toronto markets. The Alberta provincial government has recently organized a division of aquaculture and is encouraging fish farming in Calgary and the rest of the province. The British Columbia farm expects to compete in the Vancouver market (estimated at 5

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