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FUTURE TRENDS OF TILAPIA AQUACULTURE IN THE AMERICAS - page 7 / 13

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Cuba # of Farms

O. niloticus N/A

Production (t) Consumption (t) New investment

35,000 35,000 Limited

Future Trends of Tilapia Aquaculture in the Americas

grown out in ponds and cages. Reservoir fisheries are the primary source of tilapia (see Fonticiella and Sonesten, This vol.).

As soon as the US removes trade restrictions, Cuban tilapia will come to US markets. Cuba will be an ideal production location. Resources include a group of skilled biologists with training in bio- technology and tilapia genetics, low costs, proxim- ity to US, proper climate and a supply of capital ready to be invested from Cuban-Americans. For the present, production will remain steady or increase slightly. In the future, the reservoir fisheries are likely to be replaced by intensive cage culture op- erations.

Ecuador

In Ecuador, tilapia production has been closely aligned with the marine shrimp industry. When Taura syndrome struck the shrimp industry, many produc- ers turned to tilapia as an alternative crop. Even though tilapia was a lower value product, large quan- tities were grown in existing shrimp ponds. Infra- structure was readily available to process, package and transport tilapia to US markets. Exports of fresh fillets have also been seen in fish markets in Den- mark (Bertel Thomsen, pers. comm.).

Some growers believe a crop rotation of shrimp and tilapia reduces shrimp diseases. Production grew quickly from 18 t in 1990 to 2,318 t in 1997. ENACA, a large shrimp farming company, is also the largest tilapia producer in Ecuador. Growth is expected to slow as many shrimp farms have already adopted the rotation scheme or have completely switched to tilapia. However, the 1999 devaluation of the sucre will provide impetus to develop tilapia further as a seafood export in addition to shrimp.

Ecuador

Red Strains, O. niloticus

# of Farms

100+

Production (t)

2,318

Consumption (t)

N/A

New investment

Yes

258

Devastation of the shrimp industry from white spot disease has provided impetus for many shrimp farms to stock tilapia, either as a crop rotation or a complete switch. Domestic demand will not increase significantly. Improvements in marine fish culture methods may find a more valuable alternative to ti- lapia in shrimp ponds. Roderick (1999) predicts Ecuador production will reach 9,000 t for 1999.

El Salvador

El Salvador has small farm production for local markets. During the 1980s, the University of Ari- zona and FUSADES, a local trade group, reviewed options for large scale farms. FUSADES has con- tinued these efforts, but no large farms have been built.

El Salvador

O. niloticus, Red Strains

# of Farms

N/A

Production (t)

20

Consumption (t)

N/A

New investment

N/A

Small scale production will continue. Large farms may be built considering El Salvador’s long tradition as an agribusiness center for Central America.

Guatemala

Production has been primarily small farmers for home or domestic markets. A few shrimp farms have diversified with tilapia production in some of their ponds. Production was reported to be 260 t in 1992.

Guatemala

O. niloticus, Red Strains

# of Farms

40+ small

Production (t)

260

Consumption (t)

N/A

New investment

?

Honduras

Extensive production of tilapia for subsistence farmers was introduced in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of this early production utilized O. mossambicus. Red hybrids and O. niloticus were introduced in the 1980s and have effectively replaced O. mossambicus

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