Tilapia Lake Virus Conference Call – Friday July 28

The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) invites you to participate in an information-sharing conference call between U.S. tilapia growers (fry, fingerlings or broodstock), live importers, and live shippers of market-ready live fish or fingerlings and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Aquaculture Program.

The toll-free conference call will occur on Friday, July 28, 2017, at 3:00 PM Eastern. There is no registration for the call and the call will not be recorded.

The call-in information is: Dial-in phone number: 712-775-7031. Access Code: 664-518-980.

The topic of this call will be Tilapia Lake Virus. Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) is an emerging disease that has been reported in at least eight different countries around the world where tilapia are produced. This disease appears to have the greatest impact on fingerlings, with losses as high as 90% and appears to be spread by animal movement. To date, there are no reported cases of TiLV in the United States.

Because of the world-wide threat of this disease and the significant impact on tilapia production, it is anticipated that this disease will be added to the list of internationally reportable diseases by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE; see: in the near future. This could mean that exports of live tilapia from the U.S. will require export health certification that states animals are free of this disease. NAA and APHIS are committed to working together to protect U.S. aquaculture and maintaining secure markets for aquatic animals and their products.

In preparation for the call, APHIS has provided three TiLV related questions for you to consider prior to the call.The questions are:

Do you feel there is a need for our own import health requirements of live tilapia entering the United States from countries known to [...]

NAA Action Alert: Tilapia Lake Virus

Tilapia Lake Virus

Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) is a highly pathogenic virus that poses a significant threat to cultured and wild stocks of tilapia.  Little is know about effective control methods.  Infected fish often show loss of appetite, slow movement, dermal lesions and ulcers, ocular abnormalities, and opacity of the lens (i.e., cloudy eyes).  The disease has been confirmed in some countries in Africa, Asia and Latin Americal.  The impact on infected tilapia populations is significant with desease-associated mortality as high as 90%.

Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) – What You Need to Know

En español

Tilapia skin used to heal Brazilian burn victims

Click Here to read this important article!

What will it take to make Tilapia great again?

Click Here to read this important article...

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    Massive aquaculture shut-down in central China as government gets tough on pollution

Massive aquaculture shut-down in central China as government gets tough on pollution

CLICK HERE to read this important article from


Injurious Wildlife Petition Summary and Action Plan

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    Salmon: A Case Study in the Development and Approval of Transgenic Aquatic Organisms

Salmon: A Case Study in the Development and Approval of Transgenic Aquatic Organisms


One approach to the genetic improvement of aquatic organisms that has emerged as a discipline in its own right over the past two decades is transgenesis, the transfer of foreign genes into new hosts.

Transgenic fishes (or molluscs or crustaceans) can be defined as possessing within their chromosomal DNA, either directly or through inheritance, genetic constructs which have artificial origins. The key word for researchers, producers and even consumers here is within the chromosomal DNA: introduced constructs are incorporated into the target organism in such a way as to be expressed and passed along to subsequent generations.

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    Tilapia vs Other Proteins – Not the Aquatic Chicken Just Yet.

Tilapia vs Other Proteins – Not the Aquatic Chicken Just Yet.


The fresh tilapia fillet market in North America has not grown in over 10 years; it is at year after year at around 1 million pounds per week. Price is not the only challenge holding back fresh fillet volume in North

America; I believe there are other factors at play. Globally, farmed tilapia is only 3% of farmed chicken production. A challenge for new Brazilian, Vietnamese and Mexican producers targeting the US tilapia fillet market. First you have to realize that other more established tilapia producers in China, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Honduras, Ecuador and Colombia who have a head start in the market must be considered. In the fresh fillet market the growth of new tilapia producers was only because another tilapia producer, for one reason or another, left the market. For example Ecuador, once the biggest producer left tilapia, to go after more profits in shrimp. This greatly helped emerging Honduran and Mexican fresh fillets. They simply replaced the Ecuadorian and some of the Costa Rican supply, however - no growth - the same gross amount of 1 million pounds per week remains.

The other challenge for tilapia fillet sales are low prices for Asian catfish and frozen tilapia from China, pushing down the overall tilapia prices for whole, frozen and fresh tilapia. Even though it’s frozen, Chinese tilapia fillets and whole fish still set a benchmark price for around $2/lb.,for fillets., less than$1.00/ lb. for whole, with non-Chinese (Indonesian, Thai, Mexican) frozen fillets selling closer to $3/lb. But non-Chinese frozen fillets compete in less than 10% of the frozen fillet market.

There is certainly downward price pressure from the Asian cat fish and Chinese frozen fillet volume impacting the fresh fillets. In the [...]

South Florida live – Tilapia Producers Burst on the Scene


For U.S. tilapia producers, there is one big question regarding the live tilapia market in this country.   This important question is: Will history repeat itself as dramatically as it did in the 1980s when U.S. fillet producers lost their businesses to lower tech, lower cost producers from Central and South America? Once again there is a “north vs. south” competitive dynamic taking place in eastern U.S. live tilapia markets. Although many of the so-called southern producers (in Florida) may speak Spanish, their farms and the farmers are in the U.S.A. The U.S. live market is witnessing an explosion of outdoor, lower tech tilapia production taking place on new South Florida farms.

Within the last two years, at least 10 to 12 new farms have come on line in South Florida with an annual estimated production of 4 to 5 million pounds (lb.). This is “new” lbs. per year, and it is targeting northern markets. This market is estimated at 7 to 8 million lbs., principally in New York City and Toronto where the Asian consumer lives. This market and supply has been steady for at least the last 5 years. It has been supplied by 10 to 12 indoor farms up north, ranging from 250,000 lbs. to 3 million lbs. / year. 

An American Tilapia Survivor Speaks Out


It gives me great satisfaction to be writing the Tilapia column for the resurrected Aquaculture Magazine. This magazine and I have a connection going back to when I started my career in the early 1980’s. I remember waiting anxiously to receive the magazine, and reading it cover to cover. It provided real stories of other commercial activities starting in the budding aquaculture industry. To be American and surviving in commercial tilapia farming through the 1980’s was a challenge for anyone raising a human family. It was continuous musical chairs of jobs and experiences, making mistakes and waiting for a market to bloom. By 1991, I felt like the old man in the sea of tilapia. I wrote a couple of articles for the magazine, the first (Nov/Dec 1991, Vol 17, Number 6), titled An American Tilapia Survivor Speaks Out, was about my early journey in tilapia farming from 1978 - 1991.

Be Careful What You Wish For – Social Media


With the rise of the social media phenomenon and the growth of blogs, websites and chat rooms, anybody with an idea, a cause and time can gain an audience to express a point of view.

I’m even making use of this right now in this article. This can be a good thing, to have a vehicle allowing these freedoms. However, along with these expressions of free speech, authors soon realize that it’s the negative that sells and the sensationalist headline-grabbing words that really attract attention.

With regard to tilapia, we have noticed more and more attacks from health, nutrition, cooking, seafood and environmental blogs with stories titled “Eating Tilapia Worse than Eating Bacon and Donuts,” “Farmed Tilapia Good for the Environment, Bad for You,” “Tilapia Eat Poop,” “Tilapia Raised on Feces Hits U.S. Tables” and “Tilapia - The Geneti- cally Modied Fish.” It goes on and on, simply Google the word tilapia and a high percentage of the hits are sensationally titled and negative. But does this really matter?

EPA Accused of Muzzling Independant Advisors


WASHINGTON (AP) - Journalist and scientific organizations accused the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday of attempting to muzzle its independent scientific advisers by directing them to funnel all outside requests for information through agency officials.

In a letter Tuesday, groups representing journalists and scientists urged the EPA to allow advisory board members to talk directly to news reporters, Congress and other outside groups without first asking for permission from EPA officials. An April memo from the EPA's chief of staff said that "unsolicited contacts" need to be "appropriately managed" and that committee members should refrain from directly responding to requests about committees' efforts to advise the agency.
The scientific advisory board's office had asked the EPA to clarify the communications policy for board members, who are government employees.
"The new policy only reinforces any perception that the agency prioritizes message control over the ability of scientists who advise the agency to share their expertise with the public," the groups wrote.
The EPA relies on independent advisory boards to weigh complex scientific information and to advise the agency on policy, such as setting new standards for air pollutants. Recently, Republicans in Congress have been critical of the scientific advisory board overseeing the review of the ground-level ozone standard, saying it failed to evaluate the consequences of recommending a tougher limit.
The chair of that panel, H. Christopher Frey, said in an interview with the Associated Press Tuesday in which he stressed he was offering his personal opinion, that he found the tone of the EPA memo to be unnecessary.
Frey, a distinguished university professor in North Carolina State University's environmental engineering department, said that many of the scientists that serve on the committees are national and internationally-renowned experts and [...]

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    Glenda wipeout of fishpens to trigger price hikes of bangus, tilapia – BFAR

Glenda wipeout of fishpens to trigger price hikes of bangus, tilapia – BFAR

Consumers must take advantage of the cheap bangus and tilapia while they last as prices are expected to increase in the coming days.

In an interview aired on GMA News “24 Oras” Wednesday, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director Asis Perez said prices of bangus and tilapia were projected to go up by as much as P30 per kilo due to the expected lower supply caused by the destruction of most fishpens in Laguna De Bay and Taal Lake after the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda.

“Eighty percent of those structures you can no longer find, and the remaining 20 percent of the structures nandun pa pero wala nang laman,” Perez said.

Asked about how much fish remains in the Laguna De Bay and Taal Lake fishpens, Perez answered: “Hundred percent walang natira sa fishpen.”

Peres said even the 10-hectare bangus and tilapia farms in Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga were destroyed by the typhoon.

Perez said the damage could result in limited supply which would lead to higher prices. Perez said that it usually took four to seven months to raise bangus and tilapia before they can be harvested.

“I'm projecting a relative increase in price...Hindi naman dodoble ang price, siguro mga P20 to P30 increase per kilo,” Perez said.

Fish cage owners in Laguna De Bay are set to meet with the officials of BFAR on Thursday to discuss how to address the looming supply shortage. Majority of the supply of bangus and tilapia in Metro Manila comes from Laguna De Bay.

Just recently, bangus from Laguna De Bay were washed to the Pasig River to the delight of nearby residents.  This happened after Typhoon Glenda destroyed the fishpens in the lake.

According to the “24 Oras” report, the supply of [...]

Cornell Annual Short Course June 23-27, 2014

FischMagazin Interview with Dr. Michael Timmons

The follow interview was conducted by Imke Zimmermann (Press Relations for German Fish International Trade Show, Bremen Germany-February 9-11, 2014, which was then published in the German expert magazine on our topic, FischMagazin, Contact Info for Ms. Zimmermann


1.    With a RAS you can earn a small fortune – if you beforehand invest a large one, people say half-jokingly. Indeed we’ve seen lots of projects go bust. You, Prof. Timmons, even pledged a mortgage on your house ((if I understood that correctly from the cv in your book??)) to get the money to co-finance a RAS for Tilapia. Apparently you were optimistic … So please tell us: Which conditions must be fulfilled for a successful project?

In June of 1996, four individuals created Fingerlakes Aquaculture, LLC, including Dr. Michael B. Timmons of Cornell University, who mortgaged his own house to get the initial capitalization.  After a rocky startup, Fingerlakes Aquaculture stayed in business for 12 years and produced over 3,000 tonnes of tilapia. By those statistics, Michael can claim a success.  This success or at least FLA’s longevity at being in business for such a long time can be attributed to several factors:

Implemented in a series of stages (university prototype, small 100 tonne farm, followed by larger 500 tonne farm)
Large scale operations, economy of scale and market
Trained and motivated workforce
Improved technology
Adequate water
Electrical rates below typical market prices ($0.04/kwh)
Targeted marketing approach

Probably the most important of these was a phased production program, i.e., a ramp up over time. Many business plans start with some large scale operation, which is usually necessary to show a positive cash flow. Unfortunately, almost always, these operations, if funded, are unsuccessful. It is extremely difficult to achieve large scale success without having first built this capacity [...]

RAS Technology Workshop

July 31 - August 1, 2014

The Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) Technology Workshop is a 2-day workshop July 31-August 1, that is designed for a broad audience. A few of the topics covered include developing an appropriate design for your aquaculture application, the management of recirculating systems, waste management issues and economic considerations. We will seek to provide non-biased, research-based information to those that are interested in, or those using recirculating aquaculture fish production systems. The information presented comes either from the first-hand research results and experiences of the presenters or those of collaborators or colleagues around the world.

If you would like more information regarding the workshop, please email: or visit:

S. Florida Tilapia Producers

South Florida live – Tilapia Producers Burst on the Scene

For U.S. tilapia producers, there is one big question regarding the live tilapia market in this country. This important question is: Will history repeat itself as dramatically as it did in the 1980s when U.S. fillet producers lost their businesses to lower tech, lower cost producers from Central and South America?

Click HERE to download the Aquaculture Magazine article by Mike Picchietti

Can Eating Seafood Save Your Life?

Farmed Seafood and Canadian Health: How Higher Seafood Consumption Can Save Lives
Click the link below to see the report prepared for The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance
November 2013


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    S. Florida-based Regal Springs Tilapia is the king of fresh tilapia

S. Florida-based Regal Springs Tilapia is the king of fresh tilapia

Special to the Miami Herald

Magdalena Wallhoff has quite a fish story to tell. But this is about the one that didn’t get away.

Born in Switzerland and raised partly in Indonesia, Wallhoff was 7 when her father, Rudi Lamprecht, started a fish farm in Java in 1988.

Twenty-five years later, Regal Springs Tilapia, now headquartered in Miramar, is among the largest single producers of farmed tilapia in the world. In 2014, the company estimates it will supply 60 percent of the fresh tilapia sold in the United States, about 36 million pounds. Regal Springs also holds about 8 percent of the market share of frozen tilapia sold in the U.S., about 40 million pounds.

Read more here:


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    Risks Associated with Using Methyl Testosterone in Tilapia Farming

Risks Associated with Using Methyl Testosterone in Tilapia Farming

Despite widespread use of the androgen 17α-Methyl Testosterone (MT) in tilapia farming, the implications of tilapia hormone treatment in relation to human health and the environment have not been well articulated to the fish trade, or the general public. The purpose of this white paper is (a) to explain clearly why MT is widely used by the producers of farmed tilapia; and (b) to demonstrate why there are no risks to consumers, and no known risks to producers or the environment, provided the recommended best practices for MT use in aquaculture are followed. These best practices are described, so that tilapia dealers can ensure that their suppliers are taking the necessary steps to protect consumers, fish farm workers and the environment.


Click HERE to download and read the complete paper.

The Feinstein Group Takes Over Fresh Catch

The Feinstein Group Takes Over Fresh Catch
March 4, 2014

The Fresh Catch Tilapia Farm in La Democracia will be going back into operation and the man at the helm will be developer Mike Feinstein. Feinstein told 7News that the deal was finalized last Friday and his group will bring everything back into operation and expects to be harvesting in about a year.


That's a dramatic change for the company that's been in receivership after the First Caribbean Bank foreclosed on it in 2010. That was under the Mena group. The Mena's had financing difficulty but still they were doing 4.3 million pounds of fish at their peak in 2008 - and Feinstein told us he is confident he can bring it back.


Feinstein says he will be rehabilitating the farm and within three to four weeks he will be importing fish and putting them back into the ponds.


And so what's the price? Well, Feinstein is sure to be getting it on the cheap at a distress price. At its inception, before expansion the farm was valued at 36 million Belize dollars and in 2011, the Mena's tried to bring it back with a 15 million dollar buyout form the bank, which was said to be a price of 38 cents on the dollar. That attempt failed.


Feinstein told us that pond rehabilitation started yesterday. The buyout is seen as a major shot in the arm for a fish farming industry that had died off.


See the original post here

Mexican tilapia farm to supply West Coast

Mexican tilapia farm to supply West Coast
By SeafoodSource staff

American seafood farming company Tropical Aquaculture Products has announced a partnership with a new tilapia farm in Mexico.

The company has begun operations at Acuicola Gemso, producting tilapia in a cage system in the Novillo Reservoir, east of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The company expects a new processing facility to open in early 2015.

Gemso has been producing tilapia for nearly five years, and claims to not use any preservatives or gases that may alter, extend or prolong natural color or shelf life.

Tropical Aquaculture, in a statement, said the company is planning for its first audit for the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices certification. The company expects to have the certification by May of 2014.

Tropical Aquaculture expects to be able to use the farm to supply Tilapia to the U.S. west coast. - See more at:

Published on 03 March, 2014 at

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    China’s tilapia price rebound draws aquaculture giant to invest

China’s tilapia price rebound draws aquaculture giant to invest

A turnaround in the country’s tilapia pricing has brought one of China’s biggest aquaculture firms to ramp up its tilapia breeding and processing capacity. Known more for its prawn production and processing, Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Co. is ramping up its tilapia seedlings business in a large new facility that has come online in Wuchuan, in the company’s home province of Guangdong. This follows a greatly improved performance by the Chinese tilapia sector in 2013.

Tilapia cultivators were losing money in 2012 as weak demand and disease contributed to a poor outlook. That in turn forced a lot of small aquaculture players to exit the tilapia sector. Interviewed by the local press this week, breeding manager at Guolian’s tilapia base in Wuchuan, Zhao Honglei explained that in 2013 prices grew solidly and demand for fingerlings increased greatly.

“A lot of cultivators exited, they gave up tilapia breeding. There was an enormous fall in tilapia output and a growing gap in supply for processors, so now we are producing tilapia again.”

Data published by the Chinese agriculture ministry shows farm gate prices for tilapia surged from CNY 4.7 (USD 0.77åç, EUR 0.56) per 500 grams (g) (for fish of .5 kilograms (kg) and heavier, a common factory grade) in mid-2013. By the end of 2013 those prices surged to CNY 5.3 (USD 0.87, EUR 0.64) and CNY 5.4 (USD 0.89, EUR 0.65) as factories struggled for a stable supply of tilapia for processing.
Local analysts watching China’s seafood sector have welcomed Guolian’s move into tilapia as a way of insulating the firm against volatility in global shrimp markets.

“The coming online of Guolian’s tilapia breeding project is a good move to spread risk,” explained Wang Fenghua, analyst at Hongyuan Securities, which [...]

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    Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. Purchases Assets of Emperor Aquatics, Inc.

Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. Purchases Assets of Emperor Aquatics, Inc.


SANFORD, NC – February 13, 2014 — Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc. announced today it has purchased the assets
of Emperor Aquatics, Inc. (EAI), a leading supplier of UV disinfection and water filtering solutions, on December 31,
2013. EAI is headquartered in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

With the addition of EAI, Pentair is well positioned to address the growing concerns over biosecurity in Aquaculture
and the increased use of UV disinfection in the Pool industry. “This acquisition provides entry into the growing UV
market and is the perfect complement to our existing commercial sanitization products,” said Karl Frykman, President
of Pentair Aquatic Systems.

By establishing a UV center of excellence, Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems looks to continue development of tailored
engineered solutions across all industries.

Robert D. Miller, Chief Financial Officer of Pentair’s Aquatic Systems business, leads the day-to-day operations of
Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, including EAI.
Pentair Aquatic Systems provides leading edge equipment, accessories and water technology solutions to the
swimming pool, aquaculture and environmental water monitoring industries. Aquatic Systems produces a broad line
of products from pumps and filtration equipment to thermal products, automated controls, lights, automatic cleaners,
water purification and treatment technology, UV sterilizers, electromagnetic flow meters, irrigation controls, and
more. Applications for Aquatic Systems products include maintenance, repair and renovation of existing in-field
equipment, as well as planning and engineered solutions for new installations in North America, Europe, and emerging
markets such as China, Latin America and other countries.
Pentair Ltd. ( delivers industry-leading products, services and solutions for its customers’ diverse
needs in water and other fluids, thermal management and equipment protection. With 2013 revenues of $7.5 billion,
Pentair employs more than 30,000 people worldwide.

Rebecca Osborn
Senior Manager, External Communications
Direct: 763-656-5589