Tilapia
Overview
 
Tilapia is the common name for nearly a hundred species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of cichlid
Cichlid
Cichlids are fishes from the family Cichlidae in the order Perciformes. Cichlids are members of a group known as the Labroidei along with the wrasses , damselfish , and surfperches . This family is both large and diverse. At least 1,300 species have been scientifically described, making it one of...

 fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 from the tilapiine cichlid
Tilapiine cichlid
The Tilapiini is a tribe within the family Cichlidae commonly known as tilapiine cichlids. Most of the taxa herein are called "tilapias", a diverse and economically important group containing the genera Oreochromis, Sarotherodon and Tilapia. A number of smaller genera, such as Alcolapia, Danakilia,...

 tribe
Tribe (biology)
In biology, a tribe is a taxonomic rank between family and genus. It is sometimes subdivided into subtribes.Some examples include the tribes: Canini, Acalypheae, Hominini, Bombini, and Antidesmeae.-See also:* Biological classification* Rank...

. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water
Fresh Water
Fresh Water is the debut album by Australian rock and blues singer Alison McCallum, released in 1972. Rare for an Australian artist at the time, it came in a gatefold sleeve...

 habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing
Artisan fishing
Artisan fishing is a term used to describe small scale low-technology commercial or subsistence fishing practices. The term particularly applies to coastal or island ethnic groups using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, arrows and harpoons, throw nets and drag nets, and traditional...

 in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, and are of increasing importance in aquaculture
Tilapia in aquaculture
Tilapia has become the third most important fish in aquaculture after carps and salmonids, with production reaching 1,505,804 metric tons in 2002...

. Tilapia can become problematic invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 in new warm-water habitats, whether deliberately or accidentally introduced
Introduced species
An introduced species — or neozoon, alien, exotic, non-indigenous, or non-native species, or simply an introduction, is a species living outside its indigenous or native distributional range, and has arrived in an ecosystem or plant community by human activity, either deliberate or accidental...

, but generally not in temperate climates due to their inability to survive in cool waters, generally below 60 °F (15.6 °C).
Encyclopedia
Tilapia is the common name for nearly a hundred species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of cichlid
Cichlid
Cichlids are fishes from the family Cichlidae in the order Perciformes. Cichlids are members of a group known as the Labroidei along with the wrasses , damselfish , and surfperches . This family is both large and diverse. At least 1,300 species have been scientifically described, making it one of...

 fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 from the tilapiine cichlid
Tilapiine cichlid
The Tilapiini is a tribe within the family Cichlidae commonly known as tilapiine cichlids. Most of the taxa herein are called "tilapias", a diverse and economically important group containing the genera Oreochromis, Sarotherodon and Tilapia. A number of smaller genera, such as Alcolapia, Danakilia,...

 tribe
Tribe (biology)
In biology, a tribe is a taxonomic rank between family and genus. It is sometimes subdivided into subtribes.Some examples include the tribes: Canini, Acalypheae, Hominini, Bombini, and Antidesmeae.-See also:* Biological classification* Rank...

. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water
Fresh Water
Fresh Water is the debut album by Australian rock and blues singer Alison McCallum, released in 1972. Rare for an Australian artist at the time, it came in a gatefold sleeve...

 habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing
Artisan fishing
Artisan fishing is a term used to describe small scale low-technology commercial or subsistence fishing practices. The term particularly applies to coastal or island ethnic groups using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, arrows and harpoons, throw nets and drag nets, and traditional...

 in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, and are of increasing importance in aquaculture
Tilapia in aquaculture
Tilapia has become the third most important fish in aquaculture after carps and salmonids, with production reaching 1,505,804 metric tons in 2002...

. Tilapia can become problematic invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 in new warm-water habitats, whether deliberately or accidentally introduced
Introduced species
An introduced species — or neozoon, alien, exotic, non-indigenous, or non-native species, or simply an introduction, is a species living outside its indigenous or native distributional range, and has arrived in an ecosystem or plant community by human activity, either deliberate or accidental...

, but generally not in temperate climates due to their inability to survive in cool waters, generally below 60 °F (15.6 °C). (See tilapia as exotic species
Tilapia as exotic species
A number of tilapiine cichlids that are native to Africa and the Levant have been widely introduced into tropical fresh and brackish waters around the world. In some cases, the introductions were deliberate, for example to control invasive aquatic plants, as in the U.S. states of Florida and Texas...

).

Etymology

The common name tilapia is based on the name of the cichlid genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Tilapia
Tilapia (genus)
Tilapia is a large genus of cichlid fishes endemic to Africa, except for a single species that also occurs in the Middle East. The vast majority of the species are from tropical Western and Middle Africa, but there are also a few species in Northern, Eastern and Southern Africa...

, which is itself a latinization of thiape, the Tswana
Tswana language
Tswana or Setswana is a language spoken in Southern Africa by about 4.5 million people. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho languages branch of Zone S , and is closely related to the Northern- and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi...

 word for "fish". Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 zoologist Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith (zoologist)
Sir Andrew Smith KCB was a Scottish surgeon, explorer, ethnologist and zoologist. He is considered the father of Zoology in South Africa having described many species across a wide range of groups in his major work, Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa.Smith was born in Hawick, Roxburghshire...

 named the genus in 1840.

Tilapia go by many names. The name "St. Peter's fish" comes from the story in the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 about the apostle Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 catching a fish that carried a coin in its mouth
Coin in the fish's mouth
Coin in the fish's mouth is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels .According to the Gospel, after Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Apostle Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" And Peter replied: "Yes, he...

, though the passage does not name the fish. While the name also applies to Zeus faber, a marine fish not found in the area, a few tilapia species (Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus and others) are found in the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

, where the author of the Gospel of Matthew accounts the event took place. These species have been the target of small-scale artisanal fisheries
Artisan fishing
Artisan fishing is a term used to describe small scale low-technology commercial or subsistence fishing practices. The term particularly applies to coastal or island ethnic groups using traditional techniques such as rod and tackle, arrows and harpoons, throw nets and drag nets, and traditional...

 in the area for thousands of years. In some Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n countries including the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, large tilapia go by pla-pla while the smaller types are just tilapia.

Fish farming

Tilapia is the fifth most important fish in fish farming
Fish farming
Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. A facility that releases young fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species'...

, with production reaching 1,505,804 metric tons in 2000. Because of their large size, rapid growth, and palatability, tilapiine cichlid
Tilapiine cichlid
The Tilapiini is a tribe within the family Cichlidae commonly known as tilapiine cichlids. Most of the taxa herein are called "tilapias", a diverse and economically important group containing the genera Oreochromis, Sarotherodon and Tilapia. A number of smaller genera, such as Alcolapia, Danakilia,...

s are the focus of major farming efforts, specifically various species of Oreochromis
Oreochromis
Oreochromis is a large genus of tilapiine cichlids, fishes endemic to Africa and the Middle East. Several species from this genus have been introduced far outside their native range, and are important in aquaculture...

, Sarotherodon
Sarotherodon
Sarotherodon is a genus of tilapiine cichlids, fishes endemic to Africa and the Middle East. A few species from this genus have been introduced far outside their native range, and are important in aquaculture. They mainly inhabit fresh and brackish water, but a few can live in salt water...

, and Tilapia, collectively known colloquially as tilapia. Like other large fish, they are a good source of protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 and popular among artisanal and commercial fisheries
Fishery
Generally, a fishery is an entity engaged in raising or harvesting fish which is determined by some authority to be a fishery. According to the FAO, a fishery is typically defined in terms of the "people involved, species or type of fish, area of water or seabed, method of fishing, class of boats,...

. Most such fisheries were originally found in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, but outdoor fish farms in tropical countries, such as Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, are underway in freshwater lakes. In temperate zone localities, tilapiine farming operations require energy to warm the water to tropical temperatures. One method uses waste heat from factories and power station
Power station
A power station is an industrial facility for the generation of electric energy....

s.

China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 is the largest tilapia producer in the world, followed by Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

Commercially grown tilapia are almost exclusively male. Cultivators use hormones, such as testosterone
Testosterone
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. In mammals, testosterone is primarily secreted in the testes of males and the ovaries of females, although small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands...

, to reverse the sex of newly spawned females. Because tilapia are prolific breeders, the presence of female tilapia results in rapidly increasing populations of small fish, rather than a stable population of harvest-size animals.

Other methods of tilapia population control are polyculture, with predators farmed alongside tilapia or hybridization with other species.

Whole tilapia fish can be processed into skinless, boneless (PBO) fillets: the yield is from 30 percent to 37 percent, depending on fillet size and final trim. The use of tilapia in the commercial food industry has led to the virtual extinction of genetically pure bloodlines. Most wild tilapia today are hybrids of several species.

Nutrition

Tilapia have very low levels of mercury, as they are fast-growing and short-lived, with a primarily herbivorous diet, so do not accumulate mercury found in prey. Tilapia is a low saturated fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate and low sodium protein source. It is a source of phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

, niacin
Niacin
"Niacin" redirects here. For the neo-fusion band, see Niacin .Niacin is an organic compound with the formula and, depending on the definition used, one of the forty to eighty essential human nutrients.Niacin is one of five vitamins associated with a pandemic deficiency disease: niacin deficiency...

, selenium
Selenium
Selenium is a chemical element with atomic number 34, chemical symbol Se, and an atomic mass of 78.96. It is a nonmetal, whose properties are intermediate between those of adjacent chalcogen elements sulfur and tellurium...

, vitamin B12
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins...

 and potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

.

Farm-raised tilapia
Tilapia in aquaculture
Tilapia has become the third most important fish in aquaculture after carps and salmonids, with production reaching 1,505,804 metric tons in 2002...

 (the least expensive and most popular) has a high fat content, though low in saturated fats. According to research published in July 2008, the nutritional value of farm-raised tilapia may be compromised by the amount of corn
Corn
Corn is the name used in the United States, Canada, and Australia for the grain maize.In much of the English-speaking world, the term "corn" is a generic term for cereal crops, such as* Barley* Oats* Wheat* Rye- Places :...

 included in the feed. Short-chain omega-6s in corn accumulate in the fish. "Ratios of long-chain omega-6 to long-chain omega-3, AA to EPA respectively, in tilapia averaged about 11:1, compared to much less than 1:1 (indicating more EPA than AA) in both salmon and trout." The ratio is worse than is found in beef. Widespread publicity encouraging people to eat more fish has seen tilapia being purchased by those with lower incomes who are trying to eat a well-balanced diet. The lower amounts of omega-3 and the higher ratios of omega-6 fats in US-farmed tilapia raise questions of the health benefits of consuming this fish.

Adequate diets for salmon and other carnivorous fish can alternatively be formulated from protein sources such as soy, although soy-based diets may also change in the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Exotic species

Tilapia are unable to survive in temperate climates because they require warm water. The pure strain of the blue tilapia, Oreochromis aureus, has the greatest cold tolerance and dies at 45 °F (7.2 °C) while all other species of tilapia will die at a range of 52 to 62 °F (11.1 to 16.7 C). As a result, they cannot invade temperate habitats and disrupt native ecologies in temperate zones; however, they have spread widely beyond their points of introduction in many fresh and brackish tropical and subtropical habitats, often disrupting native species significantly. Because of this, tilapia are on the IUCN's 100 of the World's Worst Alien Invasive Species list. In the United States, tilapia are found in much of Florida, Texas and a few other isolated areas, such as power plant discharge zones. Many state fish and wildlife agencies in the United States, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere consider them an invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

.

Uses other than supplying food

Tilapia serve as a natural, biological control for most aquatic plant problems. Tilapia consume floating aquatic plants, such as duckweed watermeal (Lemna sp.), most "undesirable" submerged plants, and most forms of algae. In the United States and countries such as Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, they are becoming the plant control method of choice, reducing or eliminating the use of toxic chemicals and heavy metal-based algaecides.

Tilapia rarely compete with other "pond" fish for food. Instead, because they consume plants and nutrients unused by other fish species and substantially reduce oxygen-depleting detritus, adding tilapia often increases the population, size and health of other fish.

Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 stocks tilapia in the canals that serve as the drinking water sources for the cities of Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

, Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

 and others. The fish help purify the water by consuming vegetation and detritus, greatly reducing purification costs.

Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 stocks many public ponds and lakes to help with vegetation control, favoring tilapia as a robust forage species and for anglers.

In Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, tilapia help control mosquitoes
Mosquito control
Mosquito control manages the population of mosquitoes to reduce their damage to human health, economies, and enjoyment. Mosquito control is a vital public-health practice throughout the world and especially in the tropics because mosquitoes spread many diseases, such as malaria.Mosquito-control...

 which carry malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 parasites. They consume mosquito
Mosquito
Mosquitoes are members of a family of nematocerid flies: the Culicidae . The word Mosquito is from the Spanish and Portuguese for little fly...

 larvae
Larvae
In Roman mythology, lemures were shades or spirits of the restless or malignant dead, and are probably cognate with an extended sense of larvae as disturbing or frightening...

, which reduces the numbers of adult females, the disease’s vector.

Tilapia also provide an abundant food source for aquatic predators.

In aquaria

Larger tilapia species are generally viewed as poor community aquarium
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

 fish because they eat plants, dig up the bottom, and fight with other fish. However, they are often raised in aquariums as a food source due to their rapid growth and tolerance for high stocking densities and poor water quality. The smaller West African species, such as Tilapia joka and those species from the crater lakes of Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, are more popular. In specialized cichlid
Cichlid
Cichlids are fishes from the family Cichlidae in the order Perciformes. Cichlids are members of a group known as the Labroidei along with the wrasses , damselfish , and surfperches . This family is both large and diverse. At least 1,300 species have been scientifically described, making it one of...

 aquaria, tilapia can be mixed successfully with nonterritorial cichlids, armored catfish, tinfoil barbs, garpike and other robust and dangerous fish. Some species, including Tilapia buttikoferi
Tilapia buttikoferi
Tilapia buttikoferi are a large African tilapiine cichlid fish that can be found mainly in West Africa, specifically Liberia. They are freshwater fish that tend to live in rivers and streams...

, Tilapia rendalli,Tilapia mariae, Tilapia joka and the brackish-water Sarotherodon melanotheron melanotheron
Sarotherodon
Sarotherodon is a genus of tilapiine cichlids, fishes endemic to Africa and the Middle East. A few species from this genus have been introduced far outside their native range, and are important in aquaculture. They mainly inhabit fresh and brackish water, but a few can live in salt water...

, have attractive patterns and are quite decorative.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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