Next time you order fish from the shop where a hapless teenager is grinding up a block of ice to make cubes, chances are that you will have a hot, foil-wrapped tilapia. The aquaculture of Nile tilapia has a long history. In ancient Egypt, the tilapia was a symbol of rebirth in Egyptian art. It was also said to accompany and protect the sun god on his daily journey across the sky.
What exactly is or are Oreochromis niloticus also known as Nile tilapia? (Answer below)
Two million tons of fish were caught in 2023, which means that Egypt was 85 per cent self-sufficient in piscean nourishment, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.
Egypt is number one in Africa for fish farms and sixth in the world for the same and comes in third place tilapia production.
All this is thanks to the government’s Lakes Protection and Fish Wealth Development Authority, which regulates fish farming.
Many marine fish and shrimp hatcheries have been established, and measures have been taken to prevent the fishing of hatchlings from the lakes to increase fish wealth.
From government hatcheries in Gerf Hussein, Toshka, Sahari and Abu Simbel come the 100 million freshwater hatchlings to feed Lake Nasser and increase productivity.
Meanwhile, lakes Manzala, Borolos, Mariout and Bardawil have been cleaned, leading to a total catch of 183,000 tons per year.
Ghalioun fish farm
Ghalioun is one of the largest fish farms in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa. Located on the international coastal road, the LE14-billion Ghalioun complex has its own styrofoam factory for packaging product. The complex has its own ice factory, which produces 40 tons of ground ice and 20 tons of ice blocks per day, serving customers mainly in Kafr el-Sheikh to keep fish fresh and cool.
Ghalioun’s processing plant daily produces 70 tons of fish and 30 tons of shrimp. Fish need food, too, so Ghalioun produces 360,000 tons of the full range of feed every year.
National Company for Fisheries
The function of the National Company for Fisheries and Aquaculture is to maintain fish stocks and the ecological balance. The company devises fish farming systems for desert and remote locations to produce cultivate blue and yellow tuna, which are highly cost-effective.
East of Port Said is Fayrouz Fish Farm, which is not only one of the region’s biggest producers, but also the biggest employer, with 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The 9,762 feddans taken up by Fayrouz, of which the goal is to contribute to national self-sufficiency, reduce imports and export produce to Arab and European markets, was formerly part of Port Fouad salt lakes.
And now the answer to the question above. Tilapia is the name applied to hundreds of species of cichlids, i.e. fish.