NW Tilapia is a propagator and grow-out facility of several Oreochromis niloticus species. Through a selective breeding program, we aim to continuously improve the fillet to body weight ratio. Selective breeding is a breeding program that improves the breeding value of the population by selecting and mating only the best fish...largest, heaviest, fastest growing, and desired color.
For our own grow-out purposes, and at the requests of our customers, we may utilize two "true" breeds in a "crossbreeding" or "hybridization" program. It is through these programs that we can produce a faster growing fish, used strictly for grow-out (food production).
At NW Tilapia, it is our policy to maintain a non-GMO (not genetically modified) broodstock for our grow-out fish production. Additionally, our fish are not treated with hormones for the purpose of sex reversal. Sex reversed fish are one sex phenotypically, but the other genetically. Many large commercial hatcheries and growout facilities introduce androgen hormones to Tilapia fry in order to produce sex-reversed females.
Instead of hormone inducement, NW Tilapia utilizes YY male technology to produce Naturally Male Tilapia (NMT). Through a special breeding program, dominant YY chromosome males are mated with normal females, which contain the XX chromosome. Nearly all offsprings from this breeding program contain the XY or YY chromosome, making them mostly all males. (see photo Link for further explanation)
Benefits of All Male Tilapia Farming
The biggest benefit to all male farming is because the male tilapia grow faster and larger than females. Since harvesting Tilapia is usually by the whole group contained within a single tank, mixed sex groups often contain smaller females and are thus deemed not ready for market. By maintaining an all male population, the grower will see a more uniform size of fish, at the time of harvest. Additionally, without the existence of females, the males are less aggressive and have less desire to dominate one another.