Oreochromis niloticus niloticus

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Global
Production method — All
Picture of Tilapia

Sustainability rating one info

Sustainability overview

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has recently developed production standards for environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. ASC certified tilapia is good seafood choice as production standards ensure that the environmental impacts of production are minimised and the products can be easily identified by the consumer facing ASC label on pack.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: 3

Responsible sourcing of tilapia feed in encouraged. Tilapia have a low requirement for fish in their diets.


Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: 3

Chemical usage and discharges are limited and monitored by the ASC standard criteria. There are measures in place to reduce disease and escape events. Overall the ASC standard covers issues of environmental concern.


Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: 0

Welfare criteria are included within the ASC standard but not humane slaughter.



Criterion Score: 3

There is no strategic level planning that includes tilapia production, however the ASC standards criteria covers areas for regulation of the industry with the exception of Environmental Impact Assessments.


Production method


Tilapia can be farmed in a number of ways, which varies according to country and size of production. They can be produced in open systems, using pens submerged in freshwater bodies, or in raceways that are flushed by streams.


Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Bass, seabass (Farmed)
Bream, Gilthead (Farmed)
Cod, Atlantic Cod
Cod, Pacific Cod
Coley, Saithe
Hake, Cape
Hake, European
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Sturgeon (Farmed)


Tilapia is a generic name used to describe groups of fish called cichlids that are native to Africa. Tilapia are hardy, freshwater fish that tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They inhabit warm ponds, lakes and streams, and reproduce in fresh and brackish water. They mainly feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton and algae. They reach a maximum size of 45cm and a weight of 2kg.


NACA. A review of global tilapia farming practices. Available online at: http://www.enaca.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=453

FAO 2005-2018.Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Oreochromis niloticus. Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Text by Rakocy, J. E. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 18 February 2005. [Cited 12 September 2018]

ASC Tilapia standard v1.0 (2012)Available online at: https://www.asc-aqua.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ASC-Tilapia-Standard-v1-1-Clean.pdf


Lake Harvest. Fish Farms. Available online at : http://www.lakeharvest.com/fish-farms/

Bacterial Diseases of Finfish in the South East Asian Region. Available online at: http://www.thefishsite.com/articles/574/bacterial-diseasesof-Finfish-in-the-south-east-asian-region