The State Aquaculture Centre of Chiapas. will begint sales of the red tilapia juveniles in late 2011 or early 2012. (Photo: UNAM)
Red tilapia breeding program initiated
Friday, April 29, 2011, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
The Chiapas Secretariat of Fisheries has signed an agreement with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Government of Veracruz to start a red tilapia breeding and production programme, as part of the Pargo UNAM project.
The main objective is to obtain fingerlings which are able to adapt to water temperatures at fish farming centers, with the aim of marketing them.
This was announced by Federico Trujillo Gonzalez, a hidrobiologist who supervises the State Aquaculture Centre of Chiapas.
The secretary of Fisheries, Plácido Morales Vázquez, in addition to Trujillo, travelled to Veracruz in August 2009 to take more than 300 red tilapia organisms.
"We went there to get 317 fry organisms (offspring) of approximately 15 centimeters in size, which were genotypically selected (weight, size and shape) during their growth and as a result, only the 45 fingerlings that continued with the reproduction of the species hold high expectations," explained the expert to Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Chiapas.
Those involved in the initiative expect the price of the tilapia offspring to exceed 20 per cent in comparison to black tilapia fry, as the red colour of the fish is more attractive to consumers.
Trujillo explained that to successfully obtain the 'pargo UNAM', nine different species of tilapia fry were combined, "but only three of them were finally used: Mozambique, Nilotic and Stirling, each of which contributed weight, height and the red colour".
In the center there are 30 females and 15 males of red tilapia, from which the reproduction of offsprings will be performed and sales will begin in late 2011 or early 2012.
The biologist added that only 45 offspring had the best features with regards to shape, weight and color.
"Some of them have black spots and others reached the desired color but they did not get the target size, perhaps because the features of the black fry dominated. Those were discarded for breeding and so we have only 45 units in this batch," he stated.
"We use the Mendelian technique, by which the species are kept in batches and a cross between siblings is avoided. We are sending non-sibling alevins for reproduction to the centers," he added.
Red tilapia farming takes about six months. At present there is an average of about 1,500 offprings ready to join the first batches of breeders before being marketed.
By Analia Murias