(Ecuador, Farmed in Ponds)
Tilapia farmed in ponds in Ecuador is a "Best Choice."
A mild, white fish, tilapia is available year-round. It's available whole, fresh, frozen, or even live in some Asian restaurants. It can also be found as fresh or frozen fillets. Tilapia is known as izumidai when prepared for sushi.
Tilapia is a fast-growing tropical species native to Africa but produced in more than 100 nations - surpassing any other farmed fish. It is the fourth most consumed seafood in the United States after shrimp, tuna and salmon. Tilapia can be farmed in either fresh or salt water. They are omnivores that feed mainly on algae in the wild.
Ecuador is the main exporter of fresh tilapia fillets to the U.S. market. Ecuadorian tilapia is raised with shrimp in ponds. About half of the waste produced by the fish and shrimp is broken down in the ponds. The remaining waste is treated before being discharged.
Ecuadorian tilapia farms stock their ponds with fewer fish than is common in the industry, thereby reducing disease and the need for use of chemicals. Water quality is frequently monitored to limit environmental impact.
Ecuadorean tilapia is fed a diet with low levels of fishmeal and no fish oil. The fishmeal is from waste products such as tuna offal, reducing its impact on wild fish populations. The other ingredients are crop-based, such as soy.
Tilapia farmed in the U.S. and Ecuador is your "Best Choice," while tilapia farmed in China and Taiwan is a "Good Alternative."