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Expansion of Egypt’s aquaculture industry has been matched by the development of a large number of tilapia hatcheries all producing sex-reversed all-male fry and fingerlings. In order to map the fish seed value chain in Egypt, operators of fifty tilapia hatcheries in four governorates (Kafr el-Sheikh, Behera, Sharkia and Fayoum) were interviewed. Tilapia hatcheries use a range of technologies, from simple hapa-based systems in open ponds to heated, greenhouse-covered, tanks systems to advance and lengthen the spawning season. Most of the tilapia seed production (>95%) is sold as fry rather than fingerlings and sold directly to production farms 88%, while only 12% of seeds sold through fry/fingerling traders. Some of the hatcheries are part of an integrated fish farm with both hatchery and production systems. The average size of hatchery was 4.1feddans. Almost half of the hatcheries used some form of heating (solar or fuel-fired boiler) to extend the spawning season. The surveyed 50 hatcheries hold over 0.5 million broodstock and sold a total of 474 million fry in 2011 at an average price of LE 30 /1000 fry. Hatcheries also sold 21 million fingerlings at an average price of LE 114/1000. These prices are significantly lower than current prices in comparable countries and have dropped gradually over recent years in Egypt indicating that there is a high degree of competition in the market. The average surveyed Egyptian tilapia hatchery produces around 10 million seed and employs 4.5people Full-Time Equivalent (FTE), with 59% of the employees under 30 years old. Despite low seed prices, hatcheries appear to be highly profitable with an average total value added of LE 28,055 per million fry. Tilapia fry and fingerling traders play a limited role linking tilapia hatcheries with producers. Fry/fingerling traders generate relatively few jobs (0.55 FTE per million fry sales) but generate reasonable profit levels. The main subsector constraints were identified by hatchery operators and suggested solutions were discussed in detail in the current study.

Nasr-Allah, Ahmed
Dickson, Malcolm William
Al-Kenawy, Diaa Abdel Raheem
Fathi, Mohamed
El-Naggar, Gamal
Azazy, Gamal E.
Grana, Youssif Sh.
Diab, Ahmed M.
Social Sciences