Behavioural prophylaxis informing improved culture system design and management for enhanced fish health and sustainable intensification of the Egyptian tilapia industry

This is a Newton Institutional Link Project coordinated by researchers from Stirling University (David C Little, Sonia Rey Planellas, Simon Mackenzie and William Leschen) and Kafrelsheikh University (Wael Eltras and Mahmoud Eltholth) in collaboration with Europharma UK, WorldFish Centre Egypt and Egyptian Union of Fishermen Cooperatives

Egypt is the second largest tilapia producer globally providing affordable protein for millions of low income Egyptians based on using low cost earth pond systems. The sustainable intensification of the industry is dependent on the maintenance of fish health but growing mortalities believed to be related to common pathogens are becoming a challenge. Lab-based research has shown that tilapias challenged by common pathogens are capable of improving their immune response and survival if they can select an optimal temperature regime (behavioural prophylaxis). The aim of this project is to assess how modifications in pond system design and management that improve water quality and allow behavioural adaptation by fish can enhance health outcomes.

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