Tilapia culture in trinidad and tobago: yet another update

Tilapia – species of choice

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Tilapia – species of choice

Tilapia, especially Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), better known as aquatic-chicken, has become the second most important fish species in world aquaculture after carps overtaking salmonids. Although native to Africa tilapia have been introduced around the globe and its farming is growing rapidly especially in Asia including Bangladesh because of their fast growth, ease of breeding and accept a wide range of feeds including planktons from natural sources, high disease-resistance and tolerance to poor water quality and low dissolved oxygen levels. Tilapia is gaining popularity in the west as well because of its white muscle with mild flavor with no intra-muscular bones. Tilapias are a good source of protein and a popular target for artisanal and commercial fisheries in Bangladesh. Although tilapia is alien species, it is considered almost like a native species in Asia. It is raised in inland ponds, lakes, reservoir, and artificial tanks and even in lowland agricultural fields. Developing the GIFT variety by ICLARM (now WorldFish Center) and development of Sex Reversed Tilapia (SRT) seed production technology by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has added new dimension in tilapia aquaculture. Farmers have been well-acquainted with tilapia culture. Mozambique Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) was first introduced to Bangladesh in 1954 but due to the black color, excessive breeding nature, and low productivity character of the fish it could not be well accepted by the farmers. In 1974, UNICEF arranged the introduction of Chitralada strain of Nile tilapia from Thailand (Hossain, 2005) which proved to be far better and farmers started its farming. Further introduction was in 1994 by the WorldFish Center. Tilapia farming gained importance in Bangladesh during last ten years only.

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