Tilapia: 'St Peter's Fish', Fresh from your local Farm?

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
24 August 2007, at 1:00am

CAYMAN - After the hair-raising forecast track of Hurricane Dean last Sunday (as a direct hit on Grand Cayman, possibly as a category 5!) Im seriously considering turning half of our 65,000 gallon cistern into a tilapia farm, writes Barbara Currie Dailey.

Tilapia has been farmed right here in Cayman since 1993, thanks to Mr Roy Mitchell and his son Leroy.

It’s weeks like this that make me wish our Crewe Road Camp Dailey was a lot more self-sufficient and a source of fresh fish right in our back yard, has tremendous appeal.

In the aftermath of a storm, canned tuna and sardines are survival food, but hardly acceptable long term seafood substitutes.

Even without the fright of a monstrous hurricane, fish farming is a practical idea. Unlike simpler times, when Caymanians could always count on a nice fish stew or plate of steam fish on the daily table, today fish can be an expensive delicacy—and sadly, even those supermarket counter wahoo steaks and dolphin filets are often not even from our own sea.

There is one fish swimming in Cayman waters that could be an economical and year-round Catch of the Day, one whose name is far more exotic than its appearance: tilapia. Most of the tilapia sold today in this part of the world is farm-raised in Costa Rica, Honduras and Columbia – but one day it could be supplied by farming projects right here in Cayman.

But you probably don’t know tilapia’s fascinating history –or that it has been farmed on a small scale right here on Grand Cayman since 1993. Before Ivan the Great crushed so many things three years ago, this fish’s local habitat was in large freshwater tanks at Roy Mitchell’s Aquaculture, Cayman’s only small-scale commercial fish farm, in Lower Valley. His fresh whole tilapia were sold at the old Farmer’s Market on Thomas Russell Way and they were absolutely delicious any way you prepared them.

That’s why I was so excited to hear that Roy was at the new Farmer’s Saturday Marketplace and know that he’s still pursuing his dream of establishing tilapia farming in Grand Cayman.

Source: CaymanNewsNet