Trinidad’s oil spill may benefit Aquaculture

Vendors at a Fish Market
Photo by SteveMiller, CC by 2.0

“Check check check it out King fish, Carite, Oily fish for sale $10 ah pound fresh from La Brea oil spill”. Can you imagine listening to a vendor at the fish market repeat that rhythm? I don’t know about you, but that would cause me to turn around and leave. No fish vendor in his right mind would say such a thing; however one of the consequences of the recent oil spill is the notion some consumers have of fish caught in the Southern part of the island. Consumers are no longer concerned with the price of fish, what they want to know is where it was caught.

With the period of Lent fast approaching, there is a gap in the supply of fish. For those of you who are not familiar with Lent, it’s the time when Christians would fast for Easter. During this occasion, fish is consumed in large quantities.

However, the dry season contributes to the decrease in the fish supply. Coupled with the recent oil spill fishermen are plagued with a challenge of how to meet consumer demand for the approaching Lent season. There is an opportunity for the aquaculture industry, in particular, local Tilapia farmers, to capitalise on the opening in the market because of the reduced competition from fishermen.

Tilapia is considered one of the fastest growing fish entrepreneurial activities in the world. It’s poised to increase the availability of fish in the market and lower the price which will make it more accessible to low-income consumers. Fish contains essential nutrients such as Omega 3s, EPA and DHA that are required for a balanced diet. Tilapia could also assist in Trinidad and Tobago’s efforts towards improving the island’s food security and nutrition.

It will also provide job opportunities for the unemployed or those interested in starting their agribusiness. It’s a thriving enterprise that now has a chance to obtain an edge on the market.

Is there a national aquaculture initiative in your country? If yes feel free to share about your country’s efforts in its development. If not would you encourage your government to establish one?

Below is a video from R. Chin on his small-scale Tilapia venture.

Photo credit: Flickr


3 thoughts on “Trinidad’s oil spill may benefit Aquaculture

  1. Tilapia is grown inland and is a freshwater fish, one that can thrive in the most toughest water, weather and climate conditions. This is not a salt water fish, as mentioned in the previous comments, as such the nutritional proportion will obviously differ. In Trinidad and around the world young entrepreneurs are exploring and exploiting this new opportunity of Tilapia farming to satisfy the local demand. Tilapia is in such high demand that most fast food industries such as KFC and Polo Tropical serves this fish in fillet. What type of fish do you think you are being served at restaurants? Its Tilapia. It is the most healthiest, cleanest and great tasting fish at a reasonable price you can ask for.

    Let us look at this from a production point of view. At present Trinidad is bearly producing any significant amount of Tilapia to even satifsy the local market. This is a great opportunity for young farmers to explore into. Plus there is a guarantee market for tilapia, you dont even need all that fancy marketing. Restaurants and people who see the value of Tilapia will snatch at any opportunity to take those Tilapias off of farmers hands. Imagin if you can produce enough Tilapia to not only satisfy Trinidad but the Caribbean or even a small portion of the world!

    For all those young Tilapia entrepreneurs out there, you dont need much land to start up business. Tilapia is easy to maintain, eats once a day plus they are filter feeders, produces 1 pound of meat to 1/2 pound of feed, usually sells at $15 (excluding mark up) and the list goes on. You can be sure to contact Enricka for more information and networking into the Tilapia industry.


  2. Tilapia flesh does not contain the omega 3s, EPA and DHA as stated. Even for fish species whose flesh can contain these omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., salmon, trout, mackerel, etc.), those grown in aquaculture would not unless the had been fed omega-3-containging feed ingredients (e.g., applicable fishmeal).


    • Hi Kim Nill. With regards to your comment the sentence said ‘Fish contains important nutrients such as omega 3s, EPA and DHA that are required for a balanced diet” not Tilapia. However, from a review of the structuring of the sentence in the paragraph I can see how readers would get that impression. Also in the video R. Chin talks about adding those nutrients to the feed but I should have explained that in the sentence. Thank for you very much for the feedback, I know it will help me to improve my writing.


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