Tilapia Fish Recipes

Tilapia is one among nearly a hundred species of cichlid fishes characterized by dorsal fins with some varietues being brightly colored, from the tilapiine group. This group includes many popular aquarium fish. They were originally found in Africa but today, due to their adaptability, can be found to inhabit different fresh water habitats like shallow streams to ponds, rives and lakes among others around the world. They are a tough fish but they are tropical fish and they die when exposed to temperatures below 55*F which inhibits large scale production in the United States.

Though they eat indiscrimenately between both animal and plant food, Tilapias do have appetite for soft aquatic vegetation like algae, and sometimes, some insect larva.

One interesting fact about the fish is that they are mouth brooders rearing their young about their mouths during travel or danger until they grew enough to fend for themselves or too large to fit between the parent jaws.

The world of agriculture found some use for the tilapia’s appetite, introducing the fish to aquatic environments to address certain imbalance or situation. Like in the case of Kenya where they introduced the tilapia into the Kenyan waters to rid of mosquito infestation that causes malaria epidemic or introducing them to waters with unwanted aquatic vegetation that the fish will eat.

Fast growing and hardy the tilapia has also been an important source of protein in some poor areas and as an example played a role in the survival of the people in Taiwan after world War II, and because of this Taiwan became the foremost producer of the fish.

Though this voracious appetite is also a cause of imbalance in some region (like Florida, where they are banned) because of their big appetite, rapid growth and rapid breeding, characteristics that made the Tilapia the third most important fish in aquaculture next only to carps and salmonids, bringing farmers to consider farming the fish and technology and methodology developed to farm them better. They are very palatable and a good source of protein that made it popular to commercial fisheries.

Farming tilapias has been around for 2500 years and in recorded history started in the country which is now Israel. Tilapia farming previously had limited production in the US but In 2002 the production for tilapias reached 1,505,804 metric tons and the growing market for the fish spawned new farms focusing it’s resources in the culture of the fish is steadily growing in the US (especially now that farmers have expericend success in utilizing indoor recirculating systems) and specially fast in Central America.

Taiwan is the largest exporter of Tilapia and the US and Japan among the largest consumers.

The large scale comercial culture of tilapia is almost exclusive to the culture of these 3 species:

1. Oreochromis niloticus
2. Oreochromis aureus
3. Oreochromis mossambica

And of the three tilapia species that has the potential fo aquaculture and most comonly used species in tilapia fish farming is the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

Nile tilapia (Oreochromis nilotica)
The most widely cultured tilapia specie, sometimes called the St. Peter Fish, the Nile Tilapia local to the Nile River, Middle East and African waters is also native of the sea of Galilee and speculated to be the fish Jesus multiplied and fed to the masses at the Sermon on the Mount.

Blue tilapia (Oreochromis aurea)
More tolerant of salty waters and lower temperatures, the blue tilapia is the second most cultured tilapia specie.

Black tilapia or Java tilapia. (Oreochromis mossambica)
This specie is very much like the Blue Tilapia in it’s spawning age and water salinity tolerance with the males growth faster than other mentioned species.

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About The Author, Raki
Quick and Easy Tilapia Fish Recipes has the most comprehensive collection of recipes you want handy when cooking the Tilapia Fish. And for an introduction on the Tilapia Fish and some Pictures of the 3 Types mentioned above check out There Are No Tilapia Fish Recipes Without It