Tilapia zillii – unwanted in fish ponds but highly demanded in markets in Egypt

Photo credit: Suzan Alfred and Mekki Zakaria (Sudan) – Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

The inserted picture shows a batch of fish ready for the market. The traditional basket has mainly two fish groups; soles and green tilapia (Tilapia zillii).

Whether caught from natural resources such as lakes (like the attached picture) or accidently found in fish pond, Tilapia zillii with its small size attain much higher price than other tilapias of much larger size. Unlike mouth brooder tilapia, T. zillii is are substrate spawners and mature at earlier age of around 3 months with small sizes. The high consumer preference is because the relatively large egg roe that fills most of the body cavity. Added to that, the taste of its flesh is usually appreciated especially when caught from saline waters.

In fish ponds and because of the reproduction behavior of green tilapia, the species is highly undesirable as their reproduction could disturb the management of fish ponds. Regardless the control measures taken in fish ponds to prevent the entry of tiny organisms, the fertilized eggs of T. zillii with its small size may find its way to fish ponds where they hatch, grow and interfere with the pond management.

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