Species: Oreochromis niloticus
Tilapia is a freshwater fish belonging to the Peacock bass family, originating from eastern Africa, and has been adopted in many places in the world. In Vietnam, black tilapia (striping tilapia) and red tilapia are the two common species cultured; of which red tilapia gives better economic value.
Tilapia is one of omnivores, which eats plankton. This reduces the cost of farming, reduces fishing pressure on prey species, avoids the accumulation of toxins, and that makes tilapia a favourite dish.
They grow fast, but unable to be cultured in less than 21°C water. In farming industry, they are raised in ponds, or in large scale rafting in the central and southern provinces, where properly environment and water temperature are available.
Tilapia contains less saturated fat, provides good protein, and useful micronutrients. They are very popular in commercial fisheries. China is the largest producer of tilapia in the world, followed by Egypt.
Tilapia has a preference for floating creatures, kinds of duckweed, filamentous algae, that’s why they are raised in several places for certain biological control of aquatic plant problems, canals flow clearing.
In some African regions, tilapia was introduced to control mosquitoes which were causing malaria, because they consume wrigglers (mosquito larvae).
These benefits are, however, frequently outweighed by the negative aspects of tilapia as an invasive species.
Black tilapia has been recorded with the maximum weight of 4.3 kg, 60 cm long, and red tilapia is at 1.1 kg weight, and 39 cm long.