|On a plate: Omar Gaili of Edinburgh’s Nile Valley restaurant serves tilapia to customer Camila Richardson|
Farmers are being urged to grow tropical fish in their barns to help keep their heads above water.
The latest foot and mouth outbreak has had a devastating effect on the country's beleaguered agricultural sector.
But scientists are claiming farmers could balance their books by converting disused outhouses to rear tilapia - which usually thrive in the warm waters of Africa and Asia.
Researchers believe harvesting a crop of 1,000 of the exotic creatures - which grow far faster than salmon or trout - could net an annual profit of £5,000.
Tilapia is already a hit with American diners and the fish is being tipped to become the latest food fad with environmentally conscious UK consumers. Because of its white flesh and mild taste, tilapia is also being touted as a substitute for over-fished species such as cod and haddock.