The culture of tilapia was initiated in Africa in the year 1930, (Suresh, 1992), after its discover in Java, the commercial dispersion began through the far east, South and Central America (Chimits, 1955 and 1957), tilapia was introduced in the USA in 1970’s and from there it has extended to Europe. Ten years ago, in most parts of the world tilapia was an unknown specie, howeverit is now rapidly spreading all over the world (Ling, 1977). It is possible that in the next few years, could replace the Chinese carp, the most produced fish in the world.
Several species are cultured commercially around the world but Nile tilapia (Tilapia nilotica) is the predominant culture specie (FAO, 2008). In commercial culture the tilapia used are generally hybrids coming from femaleT. mossambica and male T. nilotica (Chen, 1990). These species are all mouth breeders, and spawn in pond bottoms (Stickney, 1996).
Resistant to harsh environments and fast food converters (Ling, 1977) there has been an increase in the mass commercial production, but the uncontrolled breeding of the specie and the slow growing rate of female reduced the enthusiasm of tilapia as a food fish.XXXXAround 1970’s sex reversed techniques represented a major breakthrough that started the development of tilapia production around the world. The latest data informs that production of tilapia is increasing (FAO, 2008); with the demand of food and over population, many countries are addressing issues to develop a better way to culture tilapia with a minimum cost and maximum productivity. People arein urgent need of cheap protein food. (Ling, 1977)
This paper presents an account of the main tilapia aquaculture systems around the world, and makes a comparison in how the intensive and extensive systems in developed and developed countries try to address the main issues in production of tilapia. It is important to analyse the difference in tilapia aquaculture systems around the world,mostly extensive in tropical countries and intensive in developed and subtropical countries. The question will be posed of how these countries are trying to address this issues and how will tilapia production improve.
Tilapia grow well on cheap vegetable waste and waste grains,(Chimits, 1955) they respond well to any aquarium environment, are omnivore, disease resistant and poorquality water resistant (Ling, 1977). Even though their preferred temperature its between 31-36 (C, they can support a wide range of temperatures. As tilapia matures at an early age, female normally grows slower than male (FAO,2008). Each spawn has approximately 100 eggs and after their first spawn they continue to reproduce almost every 2 months (Ling, 1977).
During the last couple of years thischaracteristics have made the production of tilapia increase (Figure 1). Actually, tilapia has a high demand around the world because it is replacing fishes that are more expensive. (FAO, 2008).
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Figure 1. Global aquaculture production of tilapia (T niloticus) in tonnes.
(FAO Fishery Statistic)
The most important issue in tilapia production are its high reproduction and the slow growth rate of female. High reproduction rates make small fishes in cages stop growing, some countries use predator fish to overcome population problems but that only works in small fish farms, otheruse a selective seine large fish that removes big fishes but also that just works in farms with low productions. (Donald, 1993) This both systems are slow and neither work in big production farms. At about 10 cm the differential size between the sexes is believed to be about 2 cm. (Huet, 1955). To overcome the delay of growth of females, many techniques have been applied; hand sorting is less...
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