Sponsor message

Are you trying to break into aquaculture industry or already working in the field and looking to gain additional expertise for career development?

Genetically-Improved Tilapia Strains in Africa: Potential Benefits and Negative Impacts

16 June 2014, at 1:00am

Two genetically improved tilapia strains (GIFT and Akosombo) have been created with Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia), which is native to Africa. In particular, GIFT has been shown to be significantly superior to local African tilapia strains in terms of growth rate.

While development economists see the potential for food security and poverty reduction in Africa from culture of these new strains of tilapia, conservationists are wary of potential ecological and genetic impacts on receiving ecosystems and native stocks of tilapia.

This study reviews the history of the GIFT technology, and identifies potential environmental and genetic risks of improved and farmed strains and tilapia in general.

Yaw B. Ansah, Emmanuel A. Frimpong and Eric M. Hallerman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also estimate the potential economic gains from the introduction of genetically improved strains in Africa, using Ghana as a case country.

Employing a combination of the Economic-Surplus model and Monte Carlo simulation, we found the mean net present value (NPV) of the introduction of the GIFT strain in Ghana to be approximately one per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Sensitivity analysis indicated that the difference in growth or yield between the GIFT and locally-available strains has the largest effect on mean NPV.

We conclude that improvements in management practices and infrastructure could increase the yield and profitability of the local strains even if genetically-improved strains are not introduced. These improvements also will ensure the realization of the full potential of introduced strains.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

June 2014

Sponsor message

UMass Sustainable Aquaculture Online Courses

Aquaculture is an increasingly important source of safe, nutritious, and sustainable seafood for people worldwide. Globally, aquaculture production must double by 2030 to keep pace with demand. These increases in demand for aquaculture products, food security considerations, and job creation have generated an increased need for skilled workers.

Discover how you can be part of this rapidly expanding industry.