Submitted to: Aquaculture Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 2002
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
Citation: GREEN,B.W., NAGDY,Z.E., HEBICHA,H., EVALUATION OF NILE TILAPIA POND MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IN EGYPT, AQUACULTURE RESEARCH, 2002. v.33.p.1037-1048.
Interpretive Summary: Fish farmers in Egypt use one general production method to grow a freshwater fish called tilapia. This production method involves application of organic and chemical fertilizer to ponds, and feeding fish with a commercial feed. Because tilapia consume algae, the microscopic plants that give water a green color, fertilization is used to increase the production of algae, and therefore the production of tilapia. Experiments conducted i other countries indicate that fish farmers can grow more tilapia and earn higher profits by using improved production methods. These improved production methods involve a more efficient use of organic or chemical fertilizers and fish feed, either alone or in combination. An experiment was conducted in Egypt to determine whether any of four improved production methods is better or more profitable than the production method now used by Egyptian farmers. Results of the experiment showed that two of the four improved production methods produced as much tilapia as the currently employed method, while the other two improved production methods produced less fish. A larger amount of bigger, more valuable tilapia also were produced using the two successful improved production methods. Because of this, the two successful improved production methods also generated higher profits. The results of this experiment provide tilapia farmers in Egypt with alternative production methods that could allow them to produce more fish and earn more money. In addition, the information generated by this experiment will help financial institutions better understand the economics of tilapia farming in Egypt, hopefully making loans for fish farming more available to farmers.
Five pond management strategies for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) production were evaluated in 0.1-ha earthen ponds in Egypt during a 145-day production cycle. Young-of-year Nile (mixed-sex or sex-reversed) tilapia were stocked into ponds at 20,000 fish ha-1. Pond management strategies developed by the Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program (PD/A CRSP) were compared to a traditional and to a modified Egyptian pond management strategy. Management strategies tested were chemical fertilization, organic fertilization plus formulated feed, chemical and organic fertilization plus formulated feed, and feed only. Nile tilapia yields ranged from 1,274 2,929 kg ha-1. Nile tilapia yields in organic fertilization plus formulated feed treatments were significantly greater than the yield from chemical fertilization ponds. PD/A CRSP pond management strategies did not produce significantly greater Nile tilapia yields than the traditional Egyptian system, but a larger percentage of harvested tilapia in the organic fertilization plus feed treatments were classified in the first- and second-class size categories compared to the traditional Egyptian system. Organic fertilization plus formulated feed pond management strategies had the highest net returns, average rate of return on capital, and the highest margin between average price and break- even prices to cover total variable costs or total costs.