Beginning an aquaculture venture has many challenges. It is an excellent idea to gather as much information as possible, to learn what regulations must be adhered to, and to speak with people who have had practical experience in the area.
Although the AquaFish Innovation Lab cannot directly assist you in developing a tilapia farm, we can provide some information that may be helpful. The AquaFish Innovation Lab and other related programs have sponsored research on many facets of tilapia aquaculture for years. You can access a wide range of publications, from reports to peer-reviewed manuscripts, at our Publications page.
Depending on where you are located, but especially for those of you in the United States, your nearest extension agent would likely be the most efficient way for you to start looking into this endeavor. These offices would be most familiar with local conditions and regulations and would also be able to tell you if anyone in your area has attempted this in the past. You can find a National Sea Grant extension specialist by visiting http://seagrant.noaa.gov/extension.
In addition, there are several aquaculture-oriented websites that provide support and information regarding starting up a farm, etc. The following list identifies several of these websites. (Please note, though, that the following sites are not supported by, endorsed by, or related to the AquaFish Innovation Lab):
World Aquaculture Society – https://www.was.org/
Sustainable Aquaculture Research Networks in Sub Saharan Africa – http://www.sarnissa.org/tiki-index.php
There are also numerous websites that provide general information on tilapia aquaculture or specific aspects of a tilapia aquaculture venture. The following links may be useful.
Free membership to a tilapia discussion group (with over 100 entries a month) at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tilapia
The American Tilapia Association (ATA) website provides market information on tilapia along with a wealth of other tilapia information. The ATA home page is at http://www.americastilapiaalliance.org/ and the associated marketing page is at http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua/ista/markets.htm.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has collected resources regarding the business aspects of aquaculture at http://www.lib.noaa.gov/docaqua/financial.html.
Finally, you might consider joining MyGAA, part of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (https://www.aquaculturealliance.org/). It will give you access to discussion forums for members and can connect you to a network of aquaculture experts.
(Please note that with the exception of the AquaFish Innovation Lab webpages, the above website links are not affiliated with the AquaFish Innovation Lab. While we hope they are helpful, they are not endorsed by the AquaFish Innovation Lab, and we cannot assume liability for the information contained within those sites.)