Advances in Tilapia Welfare—from Labs to Ponds

A special issue of Fishes (ISSN 2410-3888). This special issue belongs to the section "Welfare, Health and Disease".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 2114

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
1. Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Rua Cristóvão Colombo, 2265, São José do Rio Preto 15054-000, SP, Brazil
2. CAUNESP—Centro de Aquicultura da UNESP, Jaboticabal 14884-900, SP, Brazil
Interests: social behavior; cognition; welfare; cichlids

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Guest Editor
Fish Ethology & Welfare Group, Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Faro, Portugal
Interests: fish welfare; ethology; physiology; behavioural neuroendocrionology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute of Aquaculture, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
Interests: fish welfare; ethology; physiology; cognition; behavioural ecology and stress biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fish welfare has gained substantial attention alongside public concern about these animals’ quality of life. Although the welfare of farmed fish has traditionally been measured via a function-based approach (namely using health and physiological stress indicators), ‘nature- and feelings-based’ approaches are valid and far less represented in the literature. In this sense, behavioral studies are important tools in the evaluation of fishes’ emotional and cognitive performance and integrated response to farming conditions. In this context, tilapias (among the world’s most farmed species) are a famous research model for ethological research. According to the latest FAO report, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is the third most reared species in the world. Furthermore, Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) is also widely used for aquaculture and experimental purposes. Despite their commercial value and the growing interest in the welfare of these two species, knowledge gaps still remain. In addition, less studied species may be relevant to building a broader body of knowledge on this fish group. Therefore, we invite submissions exploring the general welfare of all tilapia species, mainly those from the Oreochromini group. Although we would like to focus on behavioral studies, regular papers as well as reviews addressing welfare in a broader sense are welcome.

Dr. Eliane Gonçalves de Freitas
Dr. João Saraiva
Dr. Sonia Rey Planellas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fishes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • health
  • metabolism
  • growth
  • stress
  • behavior

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 1158 KiB  
Body Tactile Stimulation Reduces the Effects of High Stocking Density on the Welfare of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
by Ana Carolina dos Santos Gauy, Marcela Cesar Bolognesi and Eliane Gonçalves-de-Freitas
Fishes 2023, 8(6), 320; - 16 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1380
High stocking density is used in aquaculture to optimize farming. However, such strategies can stress territorial fish by increasing aggression, thus harming the fish welfare and productive performance. Here, we tested the effect of long-term tactile body stimulation (TS) on alleviating the impact [...] Read more.
High stocking density is used in aquaculture to optimize farming. However, such strategies can stress territorial fish by increasing aggression, thus harming the fish welfare and productive performance. Here, we tested the effect of long-term tactile body stimulation (TS) on alleviating the impact of high stocking density in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Ten males were grouped for 21 days into four treatments (10 replicates each one) combining TS with high (1.2 kg·m³) or low (0.6 kg·m³) densities: (1) without TS and high density; (2) without TS and low density; (3) with TS and high density; and (4) with TS and low density. A rectangular PVC frame fitted with vertical plastic sticks sided with silicone bristles was placed in the center of aquarium. The fish receive TS when passing through the bristles. An apparatus without bristles was used as control. We found higher cortisol levels under TS conditions. All parameters of productive performance (growth, food efficiency, and condition factor) were higher in the treatment with TS and low density, lower in the treatment without TS and high density, and similar between treatments high density with TS and low density without TS. The results suggest that TS improves productive performance of Nile tilapia, counteracting the negative effects of high stocking density. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Tilapia Welfare—from Labs to Ponds)
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