Nile Tilapia

Martin S. Fitzpatrick, Carl Schreck

Latin name: Oreochromis niloticus

More Nile Tilapia are cultured around the world for human consumption than any other species of fish. Most growers feed controlled drugs such as methyltestosterone to create all-male populations of fish because the male grows faster than the female. Our research with collaborators in Mexico developed new methods for this purpose that involves treating the fish for extremely short periods of time (minutes of immersion rather than weeks by feeding). This new procedure is much safer for both the hatchery workers and the environment. It is now being used by thousands of fish farms. Other research directed at reducing the risk of mortality of live tilapia being shipped to market developed capture and handling procedures that the industry is now using because of better survival.


Gale, W.L., M.S. Fitzpatrick, M. Lucero, W.M. Contreras-Sanchez, and C.B. Schreck. 1999. Masculinization of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) by immersion in androgens. Aquaculture 78:349-357.

Contreras-Sanchez, W.M., M.S. Fitzpatrick, G. Marquez-Couturier, and C.B. Schreck. 1999. Masculinization of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) by immersion is synthetic androgens: timing and efficacy. Pages 246-248. In: B.W. Green, C.C. Clifford, M. McNamara, and G. Montano (Editors). Central American Symposium on Aquaculture, San Pedro Sula, Honduros.