Logo

New tool spots hybrid fish that threaten survival of natural tilapia in Tanzania

A new genomics marker tool has been able to accurately identify tilapia species and tell apart their hybrids, providing a novel resource to help develop aquaculture and empower conservation in Tanzania, Africa

One of the major difficulties in tilapia aquaculture lies with the discrimination of species. (Image source: Adobe Stock)One of the major difficulties in tilapia aquaculture lies with the discrimination of species. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The new tool offers a cheaper solution than full genome data analysis – the current approach to monitoring local biodiversity.

Led by the Earlham Institute, alongside the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, Roehampton University, Bangor University, the University of Bristol and the University of East Anglia in the UK, the new genomics marker tool enables tilapia species identification and identifies hybridisation between invasive and native tilapia species.

Tropical inland aquaculture production has increased rapidly in the recent decades to 47m tonnes in 2018. Tilapia, a group of cichlid fish dominated by the genus Oreochromis and native to Africa and the Middle East, have been a key part of this expansion – accounting for 5.5m tonnes of the global total. Continued expansion of inland aquaculture is particularly important in Africa, where climate change and population growth are putting vulnerable food production systems under added strain.

As a result of inland waters' temperature gradually rising due to climate change, African fisheries suffer from associated physical and chemical changes to the aquatic environment. This coupled with the continuous population growth that is estimated to reach 9 billion inhabitants in sub Saharan Africa and Asia by 2100, causes further concern for food security.

Tilapia is endemic to Africa, and East Africa including Tanzania is a hotspot of natural diversity for tilapia species. At least eight fully-endemic Oreochromis species are found in Tanzania and an additional 12 species that are endemic to catchments shared with neighbouring countries. Several of these species are adapted to unique environmental conditions, such as elevated temperatures, salinity, and pH and could be of interest for future aquaculture developments.

Lead author Dr Adam Ciezarek, Postdoctoral Scientist in the Haerty Group at the Earlham Institute said, "One of the major difficulties in tilapia aquaculture lies with the discrimination of species. This currently relies on morphological traits, which are particularly a problem to identify in females and juveniles. This in turn can lead to accidental stock contamination. Furthermore, non-native farmed tilapia populations (Nile tilapia, O. niloticus) are known to be widely distributed across Africa and to hybridise with native Oreochromis species. Tilapia is a hugely important group of fish for aquaculture. Farmed strains have been introduced to many water bodies as non-native species, which creates a problem in areas where native tilapia species are prone to hybridising. Hybrid tilapias grow slower, which threatens the survival of natural populations.”

Lead co-author Prof George Turner, School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University, said, "Case studies indicate several locations where introduced aquaculture species have become established in the wild, threatening native Oreochromis species in Tanzania. At present, native Oreochromis species are poorly characterised, and their conservation could benefit from the identification of purebred populations for protection.

"Such safeguarding of the wild relatives of farmed species would also protect unique genetic resources that could be used to enhance traits in cultured Oreochromis cichlid strains."

This study was funded by the UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council, the Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust.


LATEST NEWS IN Aquaculture

Youth’s challenges in artisanal fisheries and aquaculture discussed at IYAFA 2022

Youth’s challenges in artisanal fisherie…

Themes including the need for African governments to have youth-focused fisheries policies, came strongly to the fore as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) brought experts and activists together to consider...

Fish project tackles malnutrition in Uganda

Fish project tackles malnutrition in Uga…

 Ugandan Lake catches are mostly dominated by three highly-nutritious fishes, known locally as 'muziri', 'ragoogi' and 'mukene'

African flag registries exploited by high-risk fishing operators: Report

African flag registries exploited by hig…

Ensuring that high-risk fishing operations and vessels are excluded from national flags is a critical step to securing the waters of Africa for the legitimate and sustainable enrichment of coastal...

Angola sees boost in aquaculture and agriculture output

Angola sees boost in aquaculture and agr…

The output in the agriculture and fishing (+12.9% y-o-y) sector in Angola continues to record blockbuster growth and has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Statistics Institute’s (INE) latest...

Wanda Fish Technologies Ltd signs agreements to advance goals in cultivated fish

Wanda Fish Technologies Ltd signs agreem…

Israel- FoodTech start-up Wanda Fish Technologies Ltd has signed two agreements with Tufts University to advance the company’s goals in the emerging field of cultivated fish

Ghana imports US$200mn fish annually

Ghana imports US$200mn fish annually

Illegal fishing is having a negative impact on Ghana's fish stock and economy, and the country is spending around US$200mn annually to import fish to meed the demand

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Aquaculture

Ornamental fish farming to diversify Mauritian fisheries sector

Ornamental fish farming to diversify Mau…

The Ornamental fish farming project is set to diversify and consolidate the fishing sector in Mauritius as the breeding of ornamental fish is a lucrative market that is gaining momentum

Somaliland’s fishing sector gets new ice plant

Somaliland’s fishing sector gets new ice…

An ice plant is helping develop Somaliland’s indigenous fishing sector by allowing fishermen to sell their catch in markets around the country

Study finds Menon’s MrFeed animal feed ingredient enhances survival and weight of shrimp

Study finds Menon’s MrFeed animal feed i…

Menon Renewable Products, a specialist in disruptive animal feed technology, has announced results from a study conducted with National Aquaculture Group (Naqua), one of the world’s largest aquaculture operations

Pan-African project to develop fish trade in the region

Pan-African project to develop fish trad…

Fisheries research organisation WorldFish has launched a new pan-African project to strengthen the continent’s potential for increased trade in fish and support adoption of appropriate policies in intra-regional trade

New products for aquaculture hatcheries launched

New products for aquaculture hatcheries …

Meriden Animal Health is launching a unique breakthrough product for the early days of larval rearing which mirrors an optimal wild larval diet  

AgDevCo invests in Kenya's aquaculture company

AgDevCo invests in Kenya's aquaculture c…

AgDevCo has announced a multi-million-dollar mezzanine debt investment in Victory Farms, an aquaculture company in Kenya

Mozambique gets US$6.2mn for aquaculture development

Mozambique gets US$6.2mn for aquaculture…

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF), a joint development finance institution of five Nordic countries, has approved a US$6.2mn grant for sustainable growth of aquaculture in Mozambique  

Rwanda improves fish storage infrastructure

Rwanda improves fish storage infrastruct…

Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) has announced that it had set up infrastructure for cold chain system at Kigali in a bid to curb post-harvest losses of fish

Yalelo anounces US$9.5mn expansion for aquaculture

Yalelo anounces US$9.5mn expansion for a…

Zambia-based fishing company Yalelo Limited is investing US$9.5mn to increase tilapia production at its cage fish farming operations in Siavonga

Ghana to get Italian help for developing fisheries

Ghana to get Italian help for developing…

Ghana’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has signed an MoU with the fishing production district of Mazara Del Vallo in Italy to enhance fish production

AfDB adopts investment strategies to develop Africa’s agriculture

AfDB adopts investment strategies to dev…

Khaled Sherif, vice-president of African Development Bank (AfDB), announced new investment strategies like providing high-yielding seeds and making large farms more productive to boost up Africa’s agriculture sector during the...

Maize deliveries hit 450 000 tonnes in Zimbabwe

Maize deliveries hit 450 000 tonnes in Z…

Maize delivery has hit 450000 tonnes in Zimbabwe for the farming session of 2016-17 as compared to the corresponding period of last year, according to a senior government official

Prev Next

Template Design © Joomla Templates | GavickPro. All rights reserved.