Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Tilapia

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Tilapia Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Izumidai U.S. Farmed, Closed Recirculating Systems
Tilapia Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Izumidai China Farmed, Ponds
Tilapia Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Izumidai Ecuador Farmed, Ponds
Tilapia Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Izumidai Taiwan Farmed, Ponds
Tilapia Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Izumidai Alberta, Canada Farmed in Tank Systems
Tilapia Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Izumidai Naturland Certified Farmed


Tilapia, Farmed, U.S.

U.S. tilapia farmed in closed recirculating systems is a "Best Choice."

Consumer Note

A mild, white fish, tilapia is available year-round. It's available whole, fresh, frozen, or even live in some Asian restaurants. It can also be found as fresh or frozen fillets. Tilapia is known as izumidai when prepared for sushi.

Summary

Tilapia is a fast-growing tropical species, native to Africa, but produced in more than 100 nations, surpassing any other farmed fish, and is the fourth most-consumed seafood in the U.S. after shrimp, tuna and salmon. The U.S. tilapia market is dominated by imports, with less than five percent produced domestically.

U.S. tilapia is mostly farmed in recirculating systems - indoor facilities or ponds covered by greenhouse roofs. They're isolated from wildlife, local water sources and predators, limiting risk to the environment. Waste is relatively low and is treated onsite in external treatment plants or used for crop irrigation.

U.S. tilapia farms use feed that's low in fishmeal and fish oil, instead relying on crop-derived ingredients.Tilapia farmed in the U.S. and Ecuador is your "Best Choice," while tilapia farmed in China and Taiwan is a "Good Alternative."


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat