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Unique Tilapia for hormone-free (organic) fish farming

Tilapia has become the second most important fish in aquaculture after carp and ahead of salmon. Consumers are starting to demand hormone-free fish grown under sustainable methods. Tilapia are among the easiest and most profitable fish to farm due to their omnivorous diet and rapid growth.


The Nile tilapia is a female mouth brooder, which shows a large growth dimorphism in favor of males (up to 30% growth difference). In addition, early reproduction of females in the production setting can lead to stunted growth. Feed losses due to uncontrolled population development and inferior female growth could be overcome through the use of all-male populations. The prevalent method to produce all-male populations is the oral administration of hormones such as methyl-testosterone. Besides the critical consumer perception and environmental concerns, the supply with well-performing, non-hormone treated all-male fry is short, while the demand for Organic Fish is rapidly increasing. Hence, there is a high unmet need to naturally convert female Tilapia fry to male for fish farms.

Our Solution

Scientists at the University of Göttingen in Germany developed a unique Tilapia selection line/strain („Tilapia Augusta“) with a high male proportions through sustainable temperature treatment.

Tilapia Augusta for non-hormone production of all-male populations. To receive the organic certification, it is obligatory to avoid use of hormones to convert genetic female Tilapia fry to males (REGULATION (EC) No 710/2009). Source: Dr. Stephan Wessels.


  • High male proportions through sustainable temperature treatment.
  • Garanteed no use of hormones.
  • Better growth performance than hormone-treated fish.
  • Larger net carcass than genetic males (XY).


Fish Farming (Aquaculture of Tilapia).

Developmental Status

93% male Tilapia population achieved (on average).

Patent Status

Tilapia Augusta has been registered as an EU trademark. We are licensing this Fish Farming Technology for non-hormone production of Tilapia.


Wessels and Hörstgen-Schwark: Aquaculture, 272, S1, (2007), 80–S87.
Wessels and Hörstgen-Schwark: Aquaculture, 318, (2011), 79–84.


Dr. Stefan Uhle
Patent Manager Life Science
E-Mail: suhle(at)
Tel.: +49 551 30724 154
Reference: BioC-1578-SUG

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