Within the last year, there have been significant developments in the growth of the tilapia industry. There are now three private hatcheries that produce all-male tilapia using YY technology. The Institute of Marine Affairs is also producing males using this technology.
There is a functioning biofloc operation at the Seafood Industry Development Company consisting of six 6-m diameter fiberglass tanks. Technical assistance was provided by the University of the West Indies in setting up this system. The Institute of Marine Affairs has established a re-circulating system consisting of ten 6-m diameter fiberglass tanks. Both these operations are quite impressive and are functioning well. There is now considerable interest in Aquaponics in the country and the University of the West Indies recently hosted a training workshop for potential farmers and investors. This was taught by Drs J. Rakocy and I. Ramnarine. A commercial system has recently been commissioned and there are three other commercial systems that are being planned. There is also a lot of interest in tank culture using the biofloc system and two commercial operations are being planned.
Tilapia production was increasing at a steady rate prior to the lease of the Caroni (1975) Limited aquaculture project in 1999. Production has averaged just under 10 tonnes per annum since then but now, due to the development of two major projects: the SIDC and the IMA, production is again on the increase. There is renewed interest in intensive and semi-intensive systems using tanks in particular and also in aquaponics. The future looks very promising.