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Kenya Project/AU

PD/A CRSP Twentieth Annual Administrative Report

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Research Projects
Kenya Project/AU

Subcontract No. RD010E-C


Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Ronald P. Phelps US Principal Investigator
Karen L. Veverica US Principal Investigator

Kenya Fisheries Department, Ministry of Natural Resources, Kenya
Bethuel Omolo Research Associate

Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
David M. Liti Host Country Principal Investigator
Mucai Muchiri Host Country Principal Investigator
George Osure Graduate Student (Kenya; CRSP funded from January 2002)

Work Plan Research

This subcontract was awarded funding to conduct the following Tenth Work Plan investigation:


Aquaculture America 2002 at San Diego, California, 27–30 January 2002. (Phelps, Liti, Muchiri)
PD/A CRSP Annual Meeting at San Diego, California, 31 January 2002. (Phelps, Liti)
Africa Regional Expert Panel Meeting at Nairobi, Africa, 8 July 2002. (Muchiri)
Sixth Central American Symposium on Aquaculture at Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 22–24 August 2001. (Phelps)

Evaluation of Growth and Reproductive Performance of Three Strains of Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus Found in Kenya for Use in Aquaculture

Tenth Work Plan, New Aquaculture Systems/New Species Research 4 (10NSR4)

Ronald P. Phelps
Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
Auburn University, Alabama, USA

David M. Liti
Zoology Department
Moi University
Eldoret, Kenya

George O. Osure
Kenya Fisheries Department
Ministry Agriculture and Rural Development
Sagana, Kenya


Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is the most important species in tropical freshwater aquaculture in the world and is the focus of the aquaculture extension efforts in Kenya. There are several strains of O. niloticus found in different geographical areas of the country, of which one or more may have specific production advantages that favor its use. Which strain of tilapia to use is an important question in terms of optimizing production while maintaining biodiversity. Most of the O. niloticus being cultured worldwide are from introductions made 20 to 30 years ago from the wild. In most cases these populations have become highly inbred with little genetic potential for improvement. New stocks from the wild are needed to improve the genetic diversity of tilapia culture worldwide. The Kenya Project has begun an effort to evaluate the strains currently available and establish protocols and techniques for evaluating other strains of O. niloticus.

Three strains of tilapia currently present in Kenya are being evaluated to determine if any have unique culture characteristics that favor its use in aquaculture. They include the Sagana strain, the Lake Turkana strain, and the Lake Victoria strain. The evaluation consists of three phases: 1) fingerling evaluation; 2) foodfish evaluation; and 3) reproductive efficiency. Tilapia fry of the three strains, averaging 0.50 to 0.56 g, were stocked at 7 fish m-2 and after 50 days averaged 6.15 to 6.60 g with no difference among the strains.

At Auburn University, two strains of O. niloticus (Egypt and Ivory Coast) were compared. Both had similar fecundity, 1.17 and 1.29 seed g-1 female, respectively. Ivory Coast strain females were better in egg incubation, with 92% of spawns being successfully incubated versus 55% for Egypt strain. Survival from egg to swim-up fry was 63.5% for Egypt strain and 81.25% for Ivory Coast strain. Growth in primary nursery was similar for both strains, with fish averaging 2.6 g after 28 days. In secondary nursery where a commercial feed or cow manure was given as a nutrient source, both strains grew similarly. Differences in growth as related to nutrient input were distinct at 27 days, with fish given manure averaging 15.3 g and 31.2 g for fish given a commercial feed.

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