New York Tilapia Culture
“New York State is diverse both geographically and in terms of aquaculture species and systems. The industry ranges from flow-through raceways to bottom culture of shellfish to intensive water reuse systems. Reliable production statistics are difficult to come by, but it is estimated that the State’s aquaculture industry annually generates $20 million in farm-gate sales. These figures do not include state, county, and municipal finfish and shellfish production for resource enhancement purposes. The predominant cultured species in New York are trout, baitfish (e.g. golden shiners), oysters, northern quahogs, large and smallmouth bass, bluegills, and tilapia. Other products include bay scallops, koi, crawfish, winter flounder, and aquatic plants (e.g. water lilies, hyacinths, arrowheads).” Source: Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report 2009: New York by Gregg Rivara and Michael Timmons
Tilapia culture in New York appears to be targeted at niche markets. Continental Organics is a New Windsor based organic aquaponics company that currently has a 110,000-pound tilapia producing facility. They are marketing their products in the Hudson River Valley to wholesalers and restaurants and food stores that desire fresh, locally sourced fish. A great benefit is that their fish are grown in an enviromentally responsible manner without the use of antibiotics.
New York is located in a northern, temperate environment, so tilapia culture would generally need to be conducted inside in heated facilities.
No permit is needed to raise tilapia in indoor facilities. However, if the tilapia are raised in outdoor ponds or waters within New York, then a fish health inspection certificate.