Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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tilapia a name applied to various species of freshwater fish in the genera Tilapia and Sarotherodon and Oreochromis especially O. mossambicus and O. niloticus niloticus. Both belong to E. Africa, but the natural range of the latter extends northwards to the Nile and to Israel and Syria.

Both species are good food fishes, not too bony, and have now been introduced to many other areas, especially in Asia, for culture in ponds. This kind of fish farming has acquired considerable commercial importance. O. niloticus niloticus, the larger and faster growing of the two species, can reach a length of 50 cm (20") and a weight of over 6 kg (14 lb).