Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tilapia Farming in Costa Rica

You'll find the fish known as Tilapia on many restaurant menus here in Costa Rica.  Tilapia is a mild-tasting freshwater fish, with firm white flesh.  Tilapia farming is becoming a very popular backyard business here in Costa Rica.  My boyfriend's uncle began his Costa Rica Tilapia farm on an acre of land in Guacimo a few years ago.  At last estimates he was making about $2,000 U.S. a month just selling the fish to local commercial outlets and neighbors who would come to his property to catch and cook their own lunch.  You can see pictures of our visit to this Costa Rica Tilapia farm below.

Standing in Front of the Tilapia Pools

Our Freshly "Caught" Tilapia Lunch

My Boyfriend's Aunt Frying Tilapia for Us
Tilapia are high in protein and low in saturated fat.  You don't need to find a fancy Tilapia recipe to enjoy this tasty fish.  The day we visited the Costa Rica Tilapia farm, we ate some that had only been sprinkled with a little salt and fried in vegetable oil (head and everything!).  But, if you do want to get a little more gourmet, you can find more than one excellent Tilapia recipe at Allrecipes.com where they list the Top 20 best Tilapia Recipes as voted by users.  Tilapia are mild-flavored, so any seasoning you add to a Tilapia recipe will come through quite nicely in the final product.

If you are interesting in trying your hand at starting your own Costa Rica Tilapia Farm you can find aquaponics supplies at Pachamama located in San Jose or Jaco.  Or, you can try it the way my boyfriend's uncle did it, and just create your own rustic farming pools. He uses cement slabs, PVC piping, netting and his water source is the local stream that intersects his property. Tilapia require a steady supply of constantly flowing fresh water.  If the water is not continually flowing, I've been told that the fish will die.  A Costa Rica Tilapia farm will require daily attention, whether that be you as the business owner, or having to hire a helper.  I've also been told that Tilapia need to be fed 3 times a day like clockwork in order to survive and thrive.

Learn How to Start Your Own Tilapia Farm:

Sustainable Freshwater Aquacultures: The Complete Guide from Backyard to InvestorMy Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm

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