Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, is the breed of choice for aquaculture in the USVI. It is a tropical finfish which tolerates the water quality and density conditions of fish production systems. It is an herbivore and readily accepts manufactured diets made from grains, some fish meal and supplemented with vitamins and minerals to meet the tilapia's nutritional needs. Tilapia also spawns frequently and easily so a supply of young fingerlings can be ready for growout to meet the farmer's production needs.
Nile tilapia are grown to 2 lbs. (900 grams). They are typically processed as boneless, skinless fillets. Each fish yields 2 5-oz. fillets.
Red tilapia are a hybrid cross developed to produce a red or pink skinned tilapia that has more plate appeal than the silver/gray of naturally colored fish. The UVI line originated in Jamaica and came to us through breeders in Floirda.
Red tilapia are grown to approximately 1 lb. (454 gram) and sold whole so that the skin color can be appreciated by the consumer.