Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tilapia farming and climate change

Not a day passes that you don't hear something  about climate change. Often this has turned more into a finger pointing exercise of which countries pollute unnecessarily whilst other countries become a victim to the ravages of the weather caused by these changes.

However behind the scenes there are countries who are preparing for these changes. For example, universities in the countries of Norway, Finland and the Netherlands have come together to discuss what can be done to prepare for the changes to fish farming as a result of climate change.

One of the topics they touched on was selective breeding. This would be cross breeding with weather hardy types to produce a fish which is still acceptable to the consumer but can stand temperature fluctuations.
Although their talks were centered around farmed fish such as salmon, this is also a necessary topic for tilapia. Currently fish are, in the main, raised in areas which are warm due to the fact that to heat a large volume of water is costly.

Here in Brazil we have a constant temperature year round which makes it ideal for the rearing of almost any fish. The ideal temperature is 86°F (30° C). As the temperature decreases the fish are using the food to keep their body warm and not to increase the weight. If the temperature is too hot, the fish become stressed and will stop eating also not ideal. .

Climate change  could see areas which were once too cold to profitably farm tilapia opening up to potential boom times. Under the right conditions, you can harvest in 5 months. This is a quick turn around and can be very profitable. Even if winters are still cool, an early warm spring could see the introduction of tilapia in many areas which were once considered unsuitable for this tropical fish.