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Challenges and opportunities for advancing Nile tilapia welfare in Egypt

Tilapia Welfare

  • Date13 November 2023

The Egyptian Nile tilapia farming sector has grown rapidly over the previous decades placing Egypt as the world’s third largest producer. With this rapid growth, the sector has undergone a process of intensification with supplemented feed and higher stocking densities. Although intensification is likely to compromise animal welfare, little is known about the status of tilapia welfare in the country.

This study aimed to establish the standard handling and management practices involved in tilapia farming from hatchery to consumer. A series of workshops were held with key stakeholders in the centres of tilapia production, including farm owners and workers, feed mill operators, and aquaculture practitioners. Outcomes of these discussions suggest that the concept of tilapia welfare is lacking and that there is a need to raise awareness amongst relevant stakeholders around the importance of high welfare practices in improving tilapia health, productivity, and ultimately quality. Improving tilapia welfare would reduce the occurrence of diseases and consequently reduce the use of antibiotics. The latter would improve food safety of farmed tilapia and reduce the risk of human exposure to antibiotic residues, antibiotic resistant genes/pathogens via consumption of farmed tilapia.

Dr Eltholth has presented the outcomes at the 12th International Conference on Current, Recent and Advanced Research in Agriculture, Food and Animal Production (ICCRAAFA 2023, Hurghada, Egypt, 19th-22nd October 2023).

He has demonstrated the value for the application of the welfare concept in Tilapia farms in Egypt and its impact on productivity, profitability, environment, food safety and food security.

This work was supported by

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