Tilapia culture in trinidad and tobago: yet another update


HISTORY OF TILAPIA CULTURE



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HISTORY OF TILAPIA CULTURE

The Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus, was first introduced to Trinidad and Tobago in 1951 via St Lucia by Hickling (Kenny, 1959). Production began in 1951 with the establishment of the Bamboo Grove Fish Farm at Valsayn as a research and demonstration unit (Ramnarine, 1996). Research was conducted on the species during the 1950s and 1960s. Although a method was developed to restrict reproduction under pond culture (Kenny, 1960), no significant commercial development took place. This was primarily the result of poor consumer acceptance of the fish due to its acquired muddy taste and dark colour. Also, most of the private farms that were established were small and subsistence culture was practised. There was very little understanding of pond management such as water quality management, predator control and feeding. In addition, monosex culture was not practised and this led to the production of numerous stunted and unmarketable fish. A red tilapia strain was imported from Jamaica in 1983 and the Nile tilapia was introduced into the country in 1986, also from Jamaica (Ramnarine, 1996).






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