FAO FISHERIES TECHNICAL PAPER 453

FAO FISHERIES TECHNICAL PAPER 453

Tilapias as Alien Aquatics in Asia and the Pacific:
A Review

by
Sena S. De Silva
School of Ecology and Environment
Deakin University
Warrnambool
Victoria, Australia

Rohana P. Subasinghe
Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service
Fishery Resources Division
FAO Fisheries Department
Rome, Italy

Devin M. Bartley
Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service
Fishery Resources Division
FAO Fisheries Department
Rome, Italy

Alan Lowther
Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit
FAO Fisheries Department
Rome, Italy


FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Rome, 2004
 

Table of Contents


Cover photograph:
Morning catch of tilapias from a reservoir in Sri Lanka. Courtesy of Nalaka Siriwardwna

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-105227-1
ISSN 0429-9345

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De Silva, S.S; Subasinghe, R.P.; Bartley, D.M.; Lowther, A.
Tilapias as alien aquatics in Asia and the Pacific: a review.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 453. Rome, FAO. 2004. 65p.

ABSTRACT

Tilapias are not native to Asia but have been a significant component of inland fisheries and aquaculture in the region for over half a century. They have been introduced into over 90 countries worldwide, with a global distribution second only to common carp. The contribution of tilapias to global aquaculture production has increased over the past three decades with production in 2002 exceeding 1.5 million tonnes with an estimated value of US$1.8 billion. The average annual growth rate in aquaculture and capture fisheries production of tilapias from 1970 to 2002 has been 13.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. In the present context of development, success of a species is determined not only by its contribution to production per se, but also by its social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts. Although tilapia has been associated with adverse environmental impacts, detailed analysis of the literature suggested that other factors, such as overfishing, environmental degradation from land-based activities, and changes in hydrological regime have probably been more responsible for adverse impacts. It is clear that numerous factors working together can impact biodiversity. It is also clear that tilapias, as a group of alien species, have made a significant contribution to food production, poverty alleviation and livelihoods support in Asia and the Pacific. In spite of the wide-scale introduction into Asian waters, there is scant explicit evidence to indicate that tilapias have been overly destructive environmentally.

© FAO 2004


Contents

Preparation of this document

Acknowledgements

Introduction

The introduction and distribution of tilapias in Asia and the Pacific

Capture fisheries of tilapias

Production

Sri Lanka
India
Indonesia
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Thailand
Other countries
Australia

Marketing
Employment and other social impacts
General considerations
Controversies

Aquaculture of tilapias

Production
Culture practices
Notable phases in the development of tilapia culture
Genetically improved tilapias: the case of Nile tilapia
Possible implications of genetically improved strains
Marketing
Culture-based fisheries
Potential constraints
Conclusion
References

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