Tennessee Tilapia Culture

“Aquaculture refers to the breeding, rearing and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments, including ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Similar to agriculture, aquaculture can take place in the natural environment or in a manmade environment. Worldwide, nearly half the fish consumed by humans is produced by fish farms. This global trend toward aquaculture production is expected to continue in the future. In Tennessee, the most common aquaculture species are catfish, prawns, tilapia and trout.” Source: Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture

The Johnson County Vocational School in Mountain City, TN operates a 9,000 ft. indoor greenhouse where tilapia and koi are raised. Tours of the facility can be arranged. Contact the Johnson County Vocational School.

Aquatic Resource Managers in Graysville, TN provides tilapia consulting.

Permits and Regulations

There are no state regulations on production of fish according to Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture (TDA) Regulatory Division. There are regulations on processing. TDEC would regulate waste and water disposal for commercial operations. In this day of food safety concerns, the buyer should be consulted. Many times, they require more than government of growers.

While we don’t have a dedicated marketing specialist for fish, Market Development Division of TDA will assist where possible. More comprehensive and detailed assistance can be gained from UT Center for Profitable Ag (https://ag.tennessee.edu/cpa ) if you qualify.” Source: Dan Strasser

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