SA next to breed superfish

2013-01-11 13:23
Researchers have bred a commercial fish which grows about 30% faster than more common strains. (Anton Jordaan)

Researchers have bred a commercial fish which grows about 30% faster than more common strains. (Anton Jordaan)

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Cape Town - Egyptian and Ghanaian researchers have bred a commercial fish which grows about 30% faster than more common strains.

SciDevNet reports that the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) will boost food security and farmers’ earnings in Egypt and West Africa.

The breeding programme employed the evolutionary process of natural selection to achieve the increased growth rate.

General manager of the aquaculture division at Stellenbosch University, Henk Stander, explains that the fastest growing fish from different families are selected from the wild and bred. “The offspring form the next generation of fast growers, and this is repeated for several years,” he told News24.

According to Stander tilapia is an easy fish to farm because it is herbivorous and only requires plant protein. Commercially, “the meat is ideal for consumption because it is a white fillet and has a neutral taste”, he said.

The aquaculture division at Stellenbosch will soon embark on its own tilapia breeding programme in collaboration with a Norwegian company.

The programme will make use of Biofloc Aquaculture technology which causes the growth of living organisms in the water for food and also rids the water from fish faeces.

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project is currently in progress.


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