Improved strains of the freshwater tilapia fish continue to make significant contributionsi to food supply and livelihoods around the world. Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) has now been disseminated by WorldFish to 16 countries and continues to be in high demand.

GIFT and GIFT-derived strains have seen high rates of adoption, accounting for almost 53% of production in sampled fish hatcheries in Bangladesh and 40% of those in the Philippines.

In Egypt, the Abbassa strain, selectively bred from a strain of Nile tilapia, has shown a 12% increase in growth and 48% improvement in profitability when compared to existing strains, according to on-farm performance assessments. The combination of improved strains and better pond management practices also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the lifecycle environmental impacts of fish farming, outcome studies in Egypt have indicated.ii

Research conducted by FISH.


i C. Lind and J. Benzie, “Adoption of Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) Twenty Years after Release to Industry: A GIFT That Keeps on Giving?” (n.d.), .
ii P.J.G. Henriksson et al., “Benchmarking the Environmental Performance of Best Management Practice and Genetic Improvements in Egyptian Aquaculture Using Life Cycle Assessment,” Aquaculture 468 (February 1, 2017): 53–59,

Photo by P. Dugan/WorldFish.