Tilapia (pronounced /tɨˈlɑːpiə/) is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically they have been of major importance in artisan fishing in Africa and the Levant and are of increasing importance in aquaculture (see tilapia in aquaculture). Tilapia can become problematic invasive species in new warm-water habitats, whether deliberately or accidentally introduced but generally not in temperate climates due to their inability to survive in cool waters, generally below 60 °F (16 °C).
Place of origin:Most such fisheries were originally found in Africa, but outdoor fish farms in tropical countries such as Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Indonesia are underway in freshwater lakes.In temperate zone localities, tilapiine farming operations require energy to warm the water to tropical temperatures.
Nutrition:Tilapia have very low levels of mercury as they are fast-growing and short-lived with a primarily vegetarian diet, and thus do not accumulate mercury found in prey.Tilapia is a low saturated fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate and low sodium protein source. It is a source of phosphorus, niacin, selenium, vitamin B12 and potassium.