Tilapia-shrimp polyculture

Kevin M. Fitzsimmons, Erfan Shahkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Tilapia have become one of the most important farmed fishes on a global basis, and the polyculture of tilapia in combination with shrimp has become one of the most promising production systems. Anecdotal reports of the benefits to fish and shrimp production from polyculture have now been supported by a number of experimental studies documenting some of the results. Pond-based trials have demonstrated that basic pond ecology is altered to what are normally considered to be more beneficial conditions. Cell counts of chlorophytic (green phytoplankton) algae are increased, accumulation of organic debris in pond bottom is reduced, and survival and growth of shrimp is improved. Aquarium and tank studies have demonstrated that water from tilapia production tanks will reduce the severity of infections and increase survival when shrimp are challenged with pathogens. It appears that the polyculture of tilapia with shrimp encourages development of microbial communities (bacteria, algae, and fungi) that are closer to the natural biota found in estuaries and other native shrimp habitats. The bulk of studies indicate that shrimp-tilapia polyculture can improve survival rates and feed utilization efficiency, resulting in better economic returns and less environmental pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTilapia in Intensive Co-culture
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118970652
ISBN (Print)9781118970669
StatePublished - Jan 11 2017


  • Growth performance
  • Nile tilapia
  • Polyculture
  • Shrimp
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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