October 28, 2008


China now accounts for half of global tilapia production



China is now the world's top producer of African tilapia, occupying 49 percent of the world's total output, a professor at an aquaculture production exhibition in Beihai said.

In 2007, China produced up to 1.21 million tonnes of tilapia with Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi and Fujian provinces being the top four major production areas.

Having studied tilapia for 48 years, Professor Li Si Fa of Shanghai Ocean University said that China has a strong lead in tilapia production over other producing countries.

Other producers like Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand each has annual production of about 100,000 tonnes compared to China's 1.2 million. This resilient fish has become a major farming culture globally in Asia, Africa, Americas and more than 100 other countries and regions.

Li also added that in 2007, worldwide tilapia trade activities reached 200,000 tonnes, being the third highest ranking specie in aquaculture production. Tilapia has developed from a household food in the past which is now being accepted also by well-off consumers in developed countries, befitting its title of being the '21st century aquatic product'.

With the decline in ocean resources, it is inevitable that aquaculture farms would replace ocean fisheries, and tilapia is by far the best seafood species to be cultivated.