Tag Archives: economics

First Chinese Tilapia Farms Earn ASC Certification

Qingdao, 3 November 2015 – Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest tilapia farm and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co Ltd have become the first Chinese farms to achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. This landmark achievement reflects the pioneering initiative and efforts of a few farms in the industry to tackle some of the major challenges facing tilapia farming in China.

The success of the farms and their respective processers Hainan Xiangtai Fisheries Co., Ltd and Hainan Sky-Blue Ocean Foods Co., Ltd was celebrated today during the Sustainable Seafood Forum in Qingdao. The formal handover of the certificates was conducted by the  independent certification body that assessed the farms against the ASC standard, Intertek. The ceremony was attended by government officials, seafood industry representatives, NGOs and the media.


Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest tilapia farm and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd are the first among a number of farms that undertook pre-assessments with help from WWF China to see if they operated in a way that meets the ASC Tilapia Standard. A third tilapia farm, Wenchang Zhou Qinfu, has been assessed against the ASC standard and hopes to be certified soon.

Achieving ASC certification brings global recognition that Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest tilapia farm and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd are operating in a responsible way. It marks the start of their contribution towards a global market for responsibly produced seafood.

Mr Yang Huaying, Deputy Executive Director Hainan Sky-Blue Ocean Foods Co. Ltd said: “We are pleased that Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest has passed the assessment against the ASC Tilapia Standard. ASC certification allows us to prove to our customers that we are committed to responsible aquaculture.”

Mr Liu Rongjie, President Xiangtai Fisheries Co. Ltd, said: “For us it is important be able to show through a third party that our ambitions towards responsible tilapia farming have been achieved. The ASC certification of Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd helps us communicate this to our stakeholders.”

Making progress towards a more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tilapia sector in the Chinese aquaculture industry has been achieved through a partnership between ASC, the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA) and WWF China. As a result the industry has begun to make real strides in improving the transparency of Chinese tilapia aquaculture.

Dr Cui He, Executive Vice President, CAPPMA, said: “I would like to congratulate the Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd for becoming the first tilapia farms in China to meet the rigorous requirements of the ASC Tilapia Standard. CAPPMA has been diligently working with ASC and WWF China to promote responsible aquaculture in China. This is a major step towards responsible aquaculture in this important market.”

Credible and independent farm certification

ASC does not audit or certify farms itself; this is done by independent certifiers. The certifiers  have to undergo a rigorous process of accreditation by a company that is independent of ASC, Accreditation Services International (ASI). ASI also monitors the performance of accredited certifiers. Before certifiers can formally undertake audits their staff must have participated in an ASC Auditor Training course and passed the mandatory exam to demonstrate their full understanding of and competence in the application of the standard.

Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO, said: “These certifications reflect the substantial efforts of the farms to make real improvements in their operations. The farms were subject to scrutiny by a team of independent experts, which assessed them against the strict requirements of the ASC Tilapia Standard. This is a major milestone and they should be immensely proud of their achievements.”Throughout the assessment process stakeholders had the opportunity to input into the farm audits, with their views actively sought. This is a unique feature of the ASC programme.

The ASC Tilapia Standard development

Jin Zhonghao, Director of Market Transformation, WWF China, said: “The ASC standard for tilapia aquaculture was created by a series of open roundtable discussions coordinated by the WWF. The multi-stakeholder initiative involved more than 200 tilapia farming experts including producers, conservationists and scientists. The resulting standard is incredibly robust, built on scientific knowledge and practices aimed at addressing the key negative environmental and social impacts of the industry.”

By meeting the ASC Tilapia Standard the Qionghai Zhongpingzi Grobest Tilapia Farm and Chengmai Xingyuan Development Co. Ltd have demonstrated that they are well managed and minimise any adverse environmental or social impacts by, for example, focusing on the conservation and quality of water resources, no misuse of antibiotics, minimising escapes, compliance with strict feed requirements and meeting a range of social requirements.

Contact: Sun Brage
Aquaculture Stewardship Council
T: +31 (0)30 230 56 92

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC): www.asc-aqua.org

China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA): www.cappma.org

World Wide Fund for Nature-China (WWF-China): www.wwfchina.org

Support for Tilapia Aquaculture in Trinidad

Hot on the heels of the launch of the floating raft cage culture system in November and an awareness building event for locally produced tilapia targeted at restaurants and supermarkets two weeks ago, last week, Devant Maharaj, the Minister of Food Production in Trinidad unveiled three other initiatives.

In his unprecedented and unrelenting efforts to support the long neglected Aquaculture Sector, Minister Maharaj commissioned a refurbished facility originally established in the 1950’s and re-branding it as the Aquaculture Demonstration Centre.


















At the same event, there was also the signing of a MoU among several of his Ministry agencies and the predominant farmers group for the purchase of farmed tilapia, processing of the fish and subsequent sale of the product under a newly created TT Tilapia brand. These are all bold and never before seen initiatives in the aquaculture industry anywhere in the world and many countries would do well to pay attention to this model for aquaculture support and development.

Related Information:

Aquaponics Master Class – 3 Days

This is a comprehensive course covering all aspects of aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. Our Aquaponics Master Class is intended for anyone seriously considering getting into aquaponic food production, or those already doing aquaponics who want to learn more about the technology. We cover the topics most important to being successful in aquaponics including aquaponic methods and applications, crop choices and recommendations, water quality, daily operation and growing techniques, greenhouses and environmental control, fish biology and feeds, plant care and health, system start up and business considerations.

In the Aquaponics Master Class, we don’t waste your time with fluff or with inexperienced instructors. We have developed a comprehensive and cohesive curriculum. We share the most important tips and techniques for growing and we show you the path to success in aquaponics, all based on our 20 years’ experience in aquaponic food production.

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Length: 3 days
Materials Included: Course Materials, Certificate of Participation, T-shirt, Goody Bag
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and refreshments
Cost: $995
Registration: Call us at 608-297-8708 or email info@aquaponics.com
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or Download and Print the 2013 Master Class Registration Form

Worldwide Tilapia Production Continues Upward Trend

Tilapia is one of the most widely produced food fishes. Tilapia is farmed or harvested from wild populations in over 75 countries. This fish group has been widely recognized as an important food source in Asia and Africa for over 50 years, where until recently most of it was consumed locally. However, in the last two decades, there has been greater consumer acceptance of tilapia in North America and Europe and tilapia is now an important food source in these regions. Much of the tilapia consumed in North America and Europe is imported from Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

Tilapia is second to carp as the most popularly farmed fish. In 1994 worldwide production of farmed tilapia was 500,000 metric tons. By 2002 over 1.5 million metric tons of tilapia were produced. Production accelerated to almost 3.5 million metric tons by 2010.












China is the largest producer of tilapia farming 1,331,890 metric tons in 2010. This is over twice as much as Egypt (557,049 mt) and Indonesia (458,752 mt). As the chart shows, the majority of tilapia production takes place in Asia (China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, Taiwan), the Middle East (Egypt) and South America (Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador). By comparison, very little tilapia is produced in North America and the United States production  was 9,979 mt in 2010.

Dr. Kevin Fitzsimmons, a professor at the University of Arizona an noted tilapia expert, predicts that tilapia will surpass carp and become the most important aquaculture fish in the 21st century. Tilapia has a number of unique characteristics which favor its rise in popularity as an aquaculture species. These characteristics include high growth rate, ability to subsist on natural food sources, reproductive capability, and ability to tolerate a range of environments. Ongoing breeding programs now produce tilapia with faster growth rates and better fillet yield. Tilapia can be grown in high density and in polyculture systems with shrimp and other fish.

Comparison of Major Farmed Fishes

Comparison of Major Farmed Fishes

Source: Dr. Kevin Fitzsimmons, Potential to Increase Global Tilapia Production










Tilapia production values based on data sourced from the FishStat database

Global Tilapia Production and Market Situation 2012 – Tilapia Continues to Climb the Chart

Potential to Increase Global Tilapia Production

Tilapia Farm Business Management and Economics: A Training Manual

Authors: Carole R. Engle & Ivano Neira
Aquaculture/Fisheries Center
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tilapia Farm Business Management

Efficient management of a tilapia farm can make the difference between profits and losses, even in years with unfavorable prices and costs. Farm management involves more than just taking care of the biological processes involved; it includes paying close attention to economic and financial measures of the farm business also. This manual will provide a practical overview of economic and financial indicators and analyses to use to better understand the performance of the tilapia farm business. This should assist farm owners and managers to make more informed management decisions on tilapia farms.

The examples used in this training manual are all based on data obtained from different tilapia farms in Kenya during the period 2000-2005. The sample budgets and analyses are based on prices and cost conditions in the country at that time with some assumptions.

Download: Tilapia Farm Business Management and Economics: A Training Manual

Aquaponics Workshop Offered at University of the Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands, Albert A. Sheen Campus
St. Croix, USVI

Program – 3-day course that will provide in-depth knowledge of the principles and practical application of the aquaponic system that has been developed at the University of the Virgin Islands. Participants will be introduced to the system design that maintains water quality by hydroponic plant culture (aquaponics), Fish production instruction will be conducted using both the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and red tilapia. Hydroponic plant production will focus on vegetables, culinary herbs and ornamental flowers.

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Fee – Registration is required.  The course fee is $600.  Your registration will be confirmed by email upon receipt of payment.  The number of participants is limited and early registration is recommended.  The course fee does not include transportation to St. Croix, lodging, meals or local transportation.

Facilities – UVI is located in the heart of beautiful St. Croix. The Aquaculture Program operates fifteen research-scale systems (six aquaponic and nine biofloc) as well as commercial-scale aquaponic and biofloc systems, a fry sex-reversal system, a recirculating system for fingerling rearing and a purge system. The program annually produces about 20,000 lbs. of tilapia and a variety of vegetables.


Aquaponic system Plant production
   System design and management    Seedling production
   Components    Disease and insect control
   Construction techniques    Harvesting and packaging
Operation Economics
   Water quality    Capital budgeting
   Fish production    Operations plan
   Stocking rates    Marketing
   Feeding, growth and survival Fingerling production
   Harvesting and processing    Brood stock management
   Breeding/Fry sex reversal

Upcoming Workshop Dates:

  • February 27 – March 1, 2013
  • April 3 – 5, 2013
  • May 8 – 10, 2013

For the latest information, see Registration Announcement.