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GaryD

Tilapia in Queensland

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Hi,

I just watched the Channel 9 News on TV and they featured a segment on the Tilapia that are spreading through Queensland waterways. DPI have dubbed the species "The Cane Toad of the Waterways" and are encourage the public to assist in their eradication.

No mention of the fact that Tilapia are the most widely cultured fish in the World or that they taste good.

Coincidentally, there's concern among US Tilapia growers that the fish may have unacceptably high levels of undesirable Omega-6 fats (the bad one).

Gary

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Guest DaveOponic

Hi Gary

I am a Queenslander teaching English in Brunei. (Borneo) I am growing Tilapia (Black Tilapia) as well as Koi in my system. They are also in the waterways here in Borneo but apparently not a threat to the native ecosystem. they sure are fast growers and reportedly good to eat. (Haven't tasted any yet)

I can understand the need to protect native species in Aust. waterways but it seems they are already there. So why not be permitted to farm them, after all sheep and cattle have taken over much of the habitat of native fauna. Tilapia are a whole lot easier to grow and don't damage the environment if farmed.

It sounds to me like the bureaucrats in Aust. need educating on AP. Since Tilapia are not a pretty fish, I can't see that legalising them would be such a problem as people aren't likely to keep them as aqauarium fish/pets and then release them. More likely fatten them and eat them.

I have been paying $ 2.00 per fish here for 3-4 cm Tilapia. I have since learned that I can get as many as I want with a scoop net in most of the rivers around here.

Dave

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I am afraid that the genie is already out of the bottle on Tilapia.

Personally I am in favour of the ban. We have very good native species here that the fisheries people want to protect.

Jade Perch, a native of the Barcoo River system in Qld have the highest known content of Omega-3 fatty acids....the very good one, of any fish species on the face of the earth.

It would be a tragic to loose the wild stocks of such a species.

Murray Cod, another amazing native species, already under threat because of poor management by we humans. Murray Cod are suffering the onslaught of the common carp...a relative of the Tilapia I understand.

Tilapia would certainly be wonderful for home tank culture, but I feel, for Australia anyway, we are better off without them.

Carp

Cyprinus carpio

Attempts to acclimate carp since the 1860s and early this century were largely unsuccessful and eventually carp were recognised as an environmental pest and such attempts were banned. However, illegal stockings of carp (believed to be from Germany) in the 1960s which co-incided with substantial reductions in native fish for unrelated reasons allowed the species to establish itself in the wild.

Since then carp have become the dominant species in many waters and are a declared noxious species in Victoria. It is illegal to return live carp to any waters in Victoria and any carp caught must be destroyed. It is also illegal to hold live carp in Victoria, including koi carp, which are kept by some people as ornamental fish.

Often blamed for any environmental damage in systems where they occur, they do in fact cause considerable damage. Some native species, notably Murray cod, have learned to feed on carp and young carp form an important part of their food supply at certain times of the year.

Almost universally despised in Australia, carp are not generally sought as a food fish. There have been a number of attempts with limited success to establish commercial uses for the fish.

Carp were recently discovered in Tasmania and caused much alarm, ironically, because of its possible effects on another introduced species, trout.

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Hi Hamish,

They were catching them and throwing them in a rubish bin!

That's part of the process of vilifying the fish. The behaviour is meant to create the impression that they are garbage fish. In other states, they do the same thing with European Carp. Australians won't eat them but many people from European and Asian countries make very good meals from carp.

On a positive note, I've heard some researchers suggest that Murray cod may be on the rise again......because of the readily available food source provided by European Carp.

The role of bureaucrats in the whole food production thing is interesting. They'll make it illegal for people to keep Tilapia (or rabbits) while sitting on their hands when it comes to eradication. Tilapia have been moving into the river systems around Cairns for years without any meaningful attempt to eradicate them.

The Kolan River is choked with Water Hyacinth while state and local authorities argue about who is responsible for getting rid of it.

I'm similarly bemused around their approach to rabbits. A backyarder can be fined tens of thousands of dollars for having a rabbit in their possession but a farmer will only be made to do anything if the rabbits on their land become highly visible.

The prohibition that applies to farming rabbits in Queensland is illogical and irrational and is representative of the behaviour that has led to the richly deserved international reputation that Queensland bureaucrats and politicians have for catering to vested interests.

Historically (and interestingly), the major introduced threats to the environment seem to have originated with the bureaucrats. Examples include the European rabbit, the fox, the cane toad and, more recently, the horse virus that has so severely damaged Australia's equine industry.

GaryD

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Would be far better to have the news report on Tilapia followed by a segment on how to cook them :) Perhaps a spin on the fact that food prices might be rising but there is fish in the rivers available for free.

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Guest DaveOponic

The Kolan River is choked with Water Hyacinth while state and local authorities argue about who is responsible for getting rid of it.

I had to laugh when I read this again. I have just posted about water hyacinth in the plants forum.

My Tilapia and Koi (pretty carp) can't get enough of it. they are eating it as fast as it grows!

So der....? Wouldn't there be some sense in having Tilapia in that river growing fat on the Water Hyacinth? They could be netted and put on the market when they reach plague proportions. I wonder just how much a threat the Tilapia would be in that ecosystem?

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Hi Dave,

Wouldn't there be some sense in having Tilapia in that river growing fat on the Water Hyacinth?

The trouble is that both the Hyacinth and the Tilapia would be doing well to the exclusion of everything else.....and rivers feed into other rivers so the problem wouldn't be confined to the one river system.

They could be netted and put on the market when they reach plague proportions.

When Tilapia are in 'plague' proportions they often don't grow out to eating size.....they spend most of their time looking to breed.

I wonder just how much a threat the Tilapia would be in that ecosystem?

In Australia, we have an unfortunate history of unsuccessfully using one pest species to fix another pest species......the most prominent example being the cane toad.

I believe that water hyacinth has a place as a aquatic bio-filter but only in the most controlled of circumstances. It is a superb performer when it comes to converting nutrients into plant biomass. It will polish water (and even remove heavy metals from water) better than just about any other plant.

In any case, it is a banned species in most (if not all) parts of Australia. The only parties who are able to grow it are the state and local governments.....in places like the Kolan River.

GaryD

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Guest DaveOponic

I'm pleased to report that my fish are now thriving on a staple diet of water hyacinth. I no longer buy $ 5.00 worth of fish pellets every fortnight. They aren't very interested in pellets anymore but every day I toss a few into the pond.

Last week I stopped and talked to some Indonesian guys who were fishing in a stormwater drain near my kid's school. They were catching Tilapia that were bigger than the ones I have been nurturing these past months - at least a foot long!

So instead of paying $1.00 each for 6 inch Tilapia I think I'll be throwing in a line when I am on holidays next week.

dave

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Maybe someone could harvest them and sell them on the open market. Hello everyone my name is Richie Chavez I raise tilapia in the united states. Your country is different than mine as far as tilapia. If someone was smart they would catch breeders and sell them on the internet. I bought my breeders for $1200 us dollars for 12 fish. Breeders consist of 6females and 1male for one colony of breeders.

Richie

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Welcome to aphq r3x3

Not a werry good advice IMO, there is some legal isues on the specie in AU.

How come you paid $1200 us instead of being smart? you could use your advice in Ca waterways. I think?

Side note Gary/admin is it posible to reactivate the old daveoponic acount ? so members can see his real experience when looking at his new profile?

cheers

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Hi Richie,

Maybe someone could harvest them and sell them on the open market. Hello everyone my name is Richie Chavez I raise tilapia in the united states. Your country is different than mine as far as tilapia. If someone was smart they would catch breeders and sell them on the internet. I bought my breeders for $1200 us dollars for 12 fish. Breeders consist of 6females and 1male for one colony of breeders.

Richie

Yeah bit of a thing called a penalty over this way for that kind of activity. From memory the risk is being fined $15,000 per fish if caught with them. This reminds me of a show I watched about game and wildlife guys in the USA with raiding crews, hunting down and arresting people with Snakehead fish and other oddments. Not so much of that goes on here, I am aware of a few getting nailed for koi carp in Queensland and I am certain if word got out you where breeding and selling Tilapia around AU, there would be some problems for you.

Regards

Paul

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Welcome to aphq r3x3

Not a werry good advice IMO, there is some legal isues on the specie in AU.

How come you paid $1200 us instead of being smart? you could use your advice in Ca waterways. I think?

Side note Gary/admin is it posible to reactivate the old daveoponic acount ? so members can see his real experience when looking at his new profile?

cheers

Hi Ande,

I recently re-joined this forum. I have been growing Tilapia here in borneo for about 6 years. I don't claim to be an expert. Kellen is the man to ask about Tilapia breeding etc.

I have a constant supply of Tilapia. They are an easy species to breed. In fact hard not to multiply their numbers continuously.

I had to laugh when I saw the post about $1200 for a breeding Tilapia!!!!! The most I have paid for one Tilapia is $ 1

I started 6 years ago by buying a dozen fish for $12, and I have never bought one since. They are easily caught in waterways here and are completely legal, unlike in Australia.

I will miss Tilapia when I return home to Australia. They are such an easy fish to keep, feed and breed.

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I will miss Tilapia when I return home to Australia. They are such an easy fish to keep, feed and breed.

What are your thoughts on the taste of them Dave ?

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Tilapia is a fairly mild flavored fish. We normally deep fry the fish in a beer batter or cook Asian style with lemongrass, ginger, chillies etc. they BBQ well, the fish holds together nicely. We also smoke them, cut into fillets first and smoke with green mango wood shavings for several hours. The fish then has good flavor and firm texture.

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Kick me! Born, raised in Florida, had 10 Mango trees in my parents backyard. Never once did we think of using Mango for smoking fish. Used citrus prunings instead. Cultural myopia I guess.

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Tilapia is a fairly mild flavored fish. We normally deep fry the fish in a beer batter or cook Asian style with lemongrass, ginger, chillies etc. they BBQ well, the fish holds together nicely. We also smoke them, cut into fillets first and smoke with green mango wood shavings for several hours. The fish then has good flavor and firm texture.
Kick me! Born, raised in Florida, had 10 Mango trees in my parents backyard. Never once did we think of using Mango for smoking fish. Used citrus prunings instead. Cultural myopia I guess.

Just a heads up fella's.....Mango is a white sap bleeder, it should not be used as a smoking wood !

Question sent to us “I would like to know if using mango wood is dangerousâ€
Thanks for the question regarding Mango wood. Although limited in theareas they can grow (India, Florida, Caribbean, Hawaii, etc.), Mango wood is very popular for upper end wood products like bowls, vases, and evensome furniture. However, you are correct. Mango wood contains a sap that is located at the base of the stem, branches, and trunk. As a result,a recommendation is made never to burn mango wood as it emits a smoke that is full of potent irritants.

....http://www.smokinlicious.com/blog/index.php?s=mango

The sap, which oozes from the stalk close to the base of the fruit, is somewhat milky at first. Later it becomes pale-yellow and translucent when dried. It contains mangiferen, resinous acid, mangiferic acid, and the resinol, mangiferol.
Do not use mango bark for fireplaces or firewood.

....http://skin-disorder.health-lib.com/Mango_Skin_Disorder.html

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Just a heads up fella's.....Mango is a white sap bleeder, it should not be used as a smoking wood !

....http://www.smokinlicious.com/blog/index.php?s=mango

....http://skin-disorder.health-lib.com/Mango_Skin_Disorder.html

Hi Shane,

I have never heard of this. I have cut many a branch off of our mango tree and never seen any sap at all. Maybe we have a different variety here.

I got the idea to use mango chips to smoke the fish from googling and found several references. One interesting lead was a Scandinavian expat. Forum in Thailand who use mango wood chips to smoke their meat and fish Scandinavian style. So I tried mango wood and find the flavor is very good. I smoke outdoors and have not noticed any irritation from the smoke.

Must google more on this and investigate. Thanks for your advice. Will check it out and report back.

Dave

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I remember now that my Mum can't eat mangoes, or rather has a fear of eating them. She had a bad experience of eating mango in nth Qld. Bowen I think. It was definitely an allergic reaction. I had never given this much thought. She had problems with her hands in years gone by, a kind of contact dermatitis, sensitivity to washing up liquids etc. Mangoes have never bothered me. I love eating mango. After reading the link you posted, I can remember that some types of mango ooze a white sap from the thin green stems, yet I have never seen this sap when cutting branches further away from the fruit.

Just as an aside, the locals here eat "pakis" or the young tips of fern. I was told once by an expat. Englishman that I shouldn't eat it because it is carcinogenic, yet I have not been able to find anything about this on the web.

Dave

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I remember now that my Mum can't eat mangoes, or rather has a fear of eating them. She had a bad experience of eating mango in nth Qld. Bowen I think. It was definitely an allergic reaction. I had never given this much thought.

Dave,

Your Mum's reaction may have been due to both the Sap & the Peel in mangoes containing Urushiol (as does Poison Ivy).

Again, For your (& your families health), I would urge you not to use Mango wood for smoking meat...there are many other (and far safer) varieties of wood available.

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Hi Shane

Thanks for the info. about mango wood. I have googled and researched and confirmed what you posted.

While I have not experienced any allergic reaction to mango before, we do have BBQ's from time to time where my mango smoked Tilapia has disappeared very quickly. Everyone has complemented me on the flavor.

After checking a few posts I will try using coconut shells or even wood from one of our other fruit trees in the backyard. We have rambutan, star fruit, durian etc. I have also used basil and dill to smoke the fish but it ended up a bit too strongly flavored for my liking.

I will have to ask my Malay friends what woods they use here when making smoked fish as it is very popular in the marketplace. The dried salty anchovy type fish is widely used but it gives me gout, so can no longer eat much nasi lemak etc.

Dave

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Some people can be allergic/chemically sensitive to the Mango fruit. In our family we had an uncle and second cousin who could not eat them. I am mildly allergic to Paw-Paw which disappoints, I love the fruit.

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Hi,

Ive used both, Lemon Myrtle & Star Fruit to smoke eels, chicken & fish. Of course hickory & cherry are very popular for smoking foods.

Cheers

Joe

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