A decade ago, very few people knew
much, if anything, about tilapia. Today, tilapia has managed to become the
ninth most consumed fish in the United States, and U.S. imports of the fish
have grown over 700 percent during the past 10 years.
At least 85 countries now produce
tilapia, a fish native to Africa and the Middle East that boasts a mild
sweet flavor and firm texture. Nations in Asia, Latin America, Africa and
the Middle East are expected to push global farmed production to 1.5 million
metric tonnes this year - worth an estimated $2 billion. Combined with wild
harvests, worldwide supply of tilapia will reach about 2 million metric
tonnes in 2003. By 2010, the global production of tilapia is expected to top
$4 billion in value.
While numerous countries now produce
tilapia, the vast majority of the world 's supply is consumed in those
countries in which it is produced. In other words, Asian and Latin American
countries are nations of tilapia growers and consumers.
As a result, export markets for
tilapia are still in their infancy, with the United States considered the
only major importer of the fish at present. However, as production increases
and the industry matures, producers are expected to pioneer new export
markets, such as Europe.
In the meantime, say experts, tilapia
consumption in the Untied States still has plenty of room to grow. In
addition, as global stocks of whitefish decrease, industry members say
tilapia is well positioned as an alternative to fish like cod, sole,
flounder and orange roughy.
Just how much growth is left in the
tilapia juggernaut no one knows for sure. Nevertheless, global consumption
continues to climb as more and more consumers become familiar with one of
the world's most popular fish.
Below is a table of contents outlining the information provided in this
1. Introduction: Tilapia Takes
the World by Storm
2. Global Production Trends
2.1 Top Global Producers
2.2 Other Significant Producers
3. Export Markets
3.1. The U.S. Market
3.1.2 Retail Trends
3.1.3 Foodservice Trends
3.2 Europe: The Other Export Market
4. Future Trends
4.2 The Carbon Monoxide Issue
4.3 Production and Prices
5. Major U.S. Importers
6. Sources Contacted for this Report
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