Tilapia | CUESA

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Tilapia fourth most consumed seafood in the U.S. The demand for tilapia is rising, leading to an increase in farmed (rather than wild-caught) tilapia. There is a growing controversy about tilapia farmed in China, which accounts for 40% of global production and 40% of the tilapia imported to the U.S. Chinese tilapia is pond raised and may involve the use of banned chemicals (such as antibiotics), and high levels of water pollution that is not properly contained.

The majority of U.S. farmed tilapia is both safe for consumption and highly sustainable. Tilapia is farmed through “closed” recirculating systems, which are indoor facilities or ponds covered by greenhouse roofs that do not impact wildlife, local water sources, or predators. Therefore, there is limited environmental risk.

Tilapia is an inexpensive, mild, and light-tasting fish that can be incorporated into all kinds of dishes across ethnicities, preparations, and flavor combinations, from fish tacos to Puerto Rican fish stew.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »