Arizona Aquaculture Contacts

Agencies / Regulatory

Arizona Department of Agriculture
1688 W. Adams St
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Tel: (602) 542-4373
Website: agriculture.az.gov

Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000
Tel: (602) 942-3000
Website: www.azgfd.gov
Mission: To conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.

Arizona Tilapia Culture

Rules and Regulations

January 4, 2016

Introduction: On December 5, 2015, five species of Tilapia and their hybrids were added to Arizona Game and Fish Commission Rules R12-4-406 (R12 [Natural Resources], Chapter 4 [Game and Fish Commission], Article 4 [Live Wildlife], 406 [Restricted Live Wildlife]). As restricted live wildlife, those species of Tilapia and their hybrids (Oreochromis aureus [Blue Tilapia or Israeli Tilapia], O. mossambica [Mozambique Tilapia]; O. niloticus [Nile Tilapia], O. urolepis hornorum [Wami Tilapia] and T. zillii [Redbelly Tilapia]) may only be imported, purchased, possessed, transported and stocked in Arizona through R12-4-410: Aquatic Wildlife Stocking License. The guidance below is applicable to the following: individuals who want to import, purchase, possess, transport, and/or stock these species in Arizona; individuals who possessed the relevant Tilapia species prior to December 5, 2015; and individuals or businesses that want to sell the Tilapia species for the purposes of use in aquaculture or aquaponics.

I. Individuals who want to import, purchase, possess, transport, and/or stock these species in Arizona as of December 5, 2015:

a. An Aquatic Wildlife Stocking License must be obtained from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The license is free and is valid for no more than 20 consecutive days. Fish must be from a facility certified to be free of diseases and causative agents, and the certification must be submitted with the license application. https://azgfdportal.az.gov/license/speciallicense/aquaticstocking/

i. Disease free certification – Certification is based on a physical examination of the fish farm or pond of origin by a qualified fish health inspector or fish pathologist performed no more than 12 months before the fish are shipped to the Aquatic Wildlife Stocking License holder. Individuals or businesses pursuing certification can contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Fish Pathologist, Joe Marcino, for more information jmarcino@azgfd.gov.

II. Individuals with the relevant Tilapia species used in backyard ponds, aquaponics, or for aquaculture that were in possession prior to December 5, 2015:

a. An Aquatic Wildlife Stocking License must be obtained from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Disease free certification will be waived for the Tilapia currently in possession, but any future Tilapia that the individual wants to import, purchase, possess, transport, and/or stock must obtain a new Aquatic Wildlife Stocking License. The license is free and is valid for no more than 20 consecutive days. Fish must be from a facility certified to be free of diseases and causative agents, and the certification must be submitted with the license application (see I[a][i] above).

III. Aquaculture License – An individual who wishes to sell, trade, display, purchase, export, possess, propagate, culture or rear live Tilapia for profit is required to obtain an aquaculture permit from the Arizona Department of Agriculture; this is not a new requirement. The permit application will require that information regarding the
location, water source and water disposal, the responsible (contact) person be provided. The application also must include the species being cultured ($100 per year). https://agriculture.az.gov/aquaculture-facility-license-application

IV. Transporter License – An individual who wishes to transport live fish to persons who are licensed to resell, possess, or stock live Tilapia in Arizona must have a transporter license from the Arizona Department of Agriculture; this is not a new requirement ($100 per year). https://agriculture.az.gov/aquaculture-transporter-license https://agriculture.az.gov/category-terms/aquaculture (for general information for licenses required for individuals or businesses that sell fish for profit in Arizona)

New software tool from Evonik improves tilapia aquaculture

Evonik launches new service AMINOTilapia® for aquaculture

Genetics roadmap to develop more resilient farmed fish

WorldFish will embark on new research to create more resilient fish with characteristics such as disease resistance and more effective feed utilization. Based on a roadmap developed with world experts at a WorldFish-hosted fish breeding workshop on 23–24 May at The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, the research will use advanced techniques such as genomic selection to introduce these characteristics into its improved tilapia strains.

Since 1988, WorldFish has used selective breeding to develop and manage the fast-growing Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) strain. The strain has been disseminated to at least 16 countries, mostly in the developing world, and is grown by millions of small-scale fish farmers for food, income and nutrition across the globe.

Harvested GIFT Tilapia (Credit: Worldfish)

Harvested GIFT Tilapia (Credit: Worldfish)

Use of genomic selection tools, which enable the selection of animals based on genetic markers, will allow WorldFish to expand its GIFT research beyond a growth-only focus and introduce selection for characteristics that are otherwise difficult to measure, such as resilience and feed efficiency. Genomic selection has enabled a step change in the rate of genetic improvement of terrestrial livestock, and has the potential to do the same in fish.

Expansion of GIFT research is a key part of the CGIAR Research Program on fish (FISH) and supports WorldFish efforts under its sustainable aquaculture program to increase the productivity of small-scale aquaculture to meet growing global demand for fish.

John Benzie, Program Leader, Sustainable Aquaculture, WorldFish: “Incorporating new traits in the breeding program for GIFT will help fish farmers prepare for future challenges such as climate change and increasing evidence of disease risks. This will particularly benefit farmers in Africa and Asia, where tilapia is critical for food security yet farmers often have limited access to improved fish breeds suited to local conditions.”

Ross Houston, Group Leader, The Roslin Institute: “Aquaculture production needs to increase by 40 percent by 2030 to meet global demands for fish. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is arguably the world’s most important food fish, and plays a key role in tackling rural poverty in developing countries. The innovations in genetic improvement mapped out in this workshop are an important step toward achieving these ambitious goals.”

Attendees of the workshop included experts from WorldFish’s Malaysian and Egyptian bases, The Roslin Institute, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, The University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, the Earlham Institute, CIRAD and the Animal Breeding and Genetics group of Wageningen University and Research.

The roadmap will feed into a strategy for the genetic improvement and dissemination of GIFT seed in Africa, the further development of which will take place at the Genetics Network meeting being hosted by WorldFish at the World Aquaculture 2017 conference in Cape Town on 26–30 June.

For more information or to request an interview contact:

Toby Johnson, Head of Communications
Mobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606
Email: t.johnson@cgiar.org
Web: worldfishcenter.org
Photography: flickr.com/photos/theworldfishcenter/

About WorldFish
WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

About CGIAR
CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.

FAO issues alert over lethal virus affecting popular tilapia fish

Though not a human health risk, Tilapia Lake Virus has large potential impact on global food security and nutrition

26 May 2017, Rome–A highly contagious disease is spreading among farmed and wild tilapia, one of the world’s most important fish for human consumption.

The outbreak should be treated with concern and countries importing tilapias should take appropriate risk-management measures – intensifying diagnostics testing, enforcing health certificates, deploying quarantine measures and developing contingency plans – according to a Special Alert released today by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warnings System.

Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) has now been reported in five countries on three continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand.

While the pathogen poses no public health concern, it can decimate infected populations. In 2015, world tilapia production, from both aquaculture and capture, amounted to 6.4 million tonnes, with an estimated value of USD 9.8 billion, and worldwide trade was valued at USD1.8 billion. The fish is a mainstay of global food security and nutrition, GIEWS said.

Joyce Makaka tends her FAO-assisted fish farm in western Kenya.

Joyce Makaka tends her FAO-assisted fish farm in western Kenya.

Tilapia producing countries need to be vigilant, and should follow aquatic animal-health code protocols of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) when trading tilapia. They should initiate an active surveillance programme to determine the presence or absence of TiLV, the geographic extent of the infection and identify risk factors that may help contain it.

Countries are encouraged also to launch public information campaigns to advise aquaculturists – many of them smallholders – of TiLV’s clinical signs and the economic and social risks it poses and the need to flag large-scale mortalities to biosecurity authorities.

Currently, actively TiLV surveillance is being conducted in China, India, Indonesia and it is planned to start in the Philippines. In Israel, an epidemiological retrospective survey is expected to determine factors influencing low survival rates and overall mortalities including relative importance of TiLV. In addition, a private company is currently working on the development of live attenuated vaccine for TiLV.

It is not currently known whether the disease can be transmitted via frozen tilapia products, but “it is likely that TiLV may have a wider distribution than is known today and its threat to tilapia farming at the global level is significant,” GIEWS said in its alert.

FAO will continue to monitor TiLV, work with governments and development partners and search for resources that can be explored in order to assist FAO member countries to deal with TiLV, as requested and as necessary.

The disease

There are many knowledge gaps linked to TiLV.

More research is required to determine whether TiLV is carried by non-tilapine species and other organisms such as piscivorous birds and mammals, and whether it can be transmitted through frozen tilapia products.

The disease shows highly variable mortality, with outbreaks in Thailand triggering the deaths of up to 90 percent of stocks. Infected fish often show loss of appetite, slow movements, dermal lesions and ulcers, ocular abnormalities, and opacity of lens.As a reliable diagnostic test for TiLV is available, it should be applied to rule out TiLV as the causal agent of unexplained mortalities.

TiLV belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses, which is also the same family to which the Infectious Salmon Anaemia virus belongs, which wrought great damage on the salmon farming industry.

In May 2017, The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) released a TiLV Disease Advisory and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) released a Disease Card. The WorldFish Center also released a Factsheet: TiLV: what to know and do, this month.

The importance of tilapia

Tilapias are the second most important aquaculture species in volume termsproviding food, jobs and domestic and export earnings for millions of people, including many smallholders.

Their affordable price, omnivorous diet, tolerance to high-density farming methods and usually strong resistance to disease makes them an important protein source, especially in developing countries and for poorer consumers.

China, Indonesia and Egypt are the three leading aquaculture producers of tilapia, a fish deemed to have great potential for expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.

Contact

Christopher Emsden
FAO Media Relations (Rome)
(+39) 06 570 53291
christopher.emsden@fao.org