Frequently Asked Questions

The market

Q: Is there a constant demand for tilapia in the local market?

A: Yes there is a constant demand for Tilapia, both Red and Silver


Q: What is the demand like for tilapia from neighboring countries? Is there a demand? Is it constant?

A: Other Caribbean countries are willing to import from Trinidad.


Q: Are there barriers of entry to foreign businesses selling tilapia on the local market?

A: Most Tilapia imported are processed so no trade restrictions which could be problematic to local farmers at times.


The environment

Q: Are there environmental considerations?

A: Water pollutions Act or Trinidad and Tobago. Also EMA must be notified and registration as a potential water polluter must be done to protect both you and the environment.


Q: How to dispose of waste?

A: Depends on the system used, but most system the water should be stored in earthen enclosure with aquatic plants to remove nitrates and also to avoid accidental release of farmed fish. Do not empty directly into an river or public drainage.


The product

Q: What is the better fish in terms of demand and profitability?

A: Red Tilapia is preferred by house holders that purchase drawn fish (gutted, gilled, finned, scaled) as it slightly resembles a Red Snapper. Color is not a factor for filleted product.


Q: What is the recommended selling price of fish full size?

A: Whole sale price for whole fish is currently TT$10 to TT$15 per Lb on the production system and size of fish. The retail can vary between TT$15 to TT$20 per Lb depending purchasing price.





Q: Where can I set up a farm?

A: The location is based on- Water availability, Bio-security, Security of farm, proximity to market and electricity.


Q: Can I run a business from my back yard in a residential area?

A: Yes, however economies of scale shows smaller systems (1 to 4, 2000gal tanks) take longer to get returns.


Q: Can I run the operation as a full time employee working8:00am to 4:00 pm?

A: Yes, if security is in place and there is a low stocking density incase or power failure. Depending on the size of the facility, backup power is suggested.


Layout and Design

Q: Are there benefits to running the operation in an enclosed area?

A: Enclosed reduces risk of predial larceny and bird predation but increases infrastructure cost. Green water systems in tanks reduces feed cost for Tilapia production.


Q:What are the best tanks to use and where can I get them?

A: Century Eslon has the most economic locally produced tanks for aquaculture, plastic 2000 gallon.



Q: How many persons are required to support this operation?

A: Small scale system requires 1 to 2 persons, none full time. Medium scale systems require 1 to 2 persons, only 1 full time, large scale farms labor depends on how big the facility is.


Q:When exactly are they needed?

A: feeding and basic farm maintenance is daily 1 person job. During harvesting more labor is needed.


Return on investment

Q: What is the running cost of the operation?

A: Operating cost varies from TT$6 to TT$9 in pond based systems and TT$7 to $10 in tank based systems. It depends on farm management!


Q: What are the returns like?

A: Profit margin varies from TT$2 to TT$5 per Lb depending on production system, management, target market and time of year.


Q: How long does it take for the first batch of fish to mature and for the first sale?

A: Stocking 1 month old fingerling, a grow-out time of 5 to 6 months is needed to attain 1 to 1.5Lb fish. If it takes longer to have an average of 1Lb fish in enclosures, the management of the system needs improving.