From Africa to the world—The journey of Nile tilapia

Abdel Fattah M. El-Sayed, Kevin Fitzsimmons

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Despite the fact that Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) (Linnaeus, 1758) are African freshwater fish, they have been introduced into many countries inside and outside Africa. The journey of Nile tilapia started during the second half of the 20th Century, especially in Southeast Asia and the Americas, mainly for aquaculture and fisheries enhancement. Most of these introductions became well established in aquaculture. As a result, aquaculture of Nile tilapia has been steadily expanding in many countries. These fish play an important role in the livelihoods of local societies on different continents. This review summarizes the current knowledge on global Nile tilapia introductions and sheds light on their social and economic contributions to the countries into which they have been introduced, as well as their share in the global fish market. The ecological impacts of tilapia introductions have also been addressed. The success stories of the major Nile tilapia producers were highlighted so that the lessons learned from their experiences could be transferred to other countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-21
Number of pages16
JournalReviews in Aquaculture
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Nile tilapia
  • The Americas
  • impacts
  • introductions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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