A land-based tilapia farm located in the United States, and with abundant supply, is a seafood solution many have been waiting for. Add to that a strong charitable alignment where a percentage of sales goes directly to regional environmental conservation efforts, and you have the makings of a brand sensation. Suncoast Tilapia… coming late 2020.
Tilapia, a fish that once graced the tables of pharaohs and inspired religious parables, is today farmed in more than 135 countries. One of the most important food animals in the world, it’s an excellent source of tasty, low fat protein — and its flexibility makes it a superhero among farmed fish.
Tilapia are efficient omnivores, so they need very little marine content in their feed. In fact, they don’t need as much feed because they continuously graze on algae in the water and can extract as much as 40% of their nutritional requirements that way. Tilapia also grow very quickly, reaching market size in less than a year. Because they evolved in sometimes cramped waterways, tilapia thrive in slightly higher stocking densities than other species. They do well in all kinds of water, even brackish, and are tolerant of diverse environmental conditions. Finally, they reproduce readily and abundantly in captivity.
Drawing upon decades of experience, the Suncoast team has designed a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) that incorporates forward-thinking ideas into every step of the process, from nursery to processing to transport. The entire system is closed, with minimal water use or discharge, and with no possibility of the fish escaping. Zero effluent is released into surrounding waterways, but is instead collected for later use as fertilizer by local farmers. No antibiotics or hormones are used during production, and feed is scrupulously sourced. There is also no waste from processing and filleting since byproducts and trimmings too are collected and turned into fishmeal. Suncoast never uses styrofoam boxes, and all packaging materials are recyclable or biodegradable. Finally, because the farm is in Florida, Suncoast is able to further reduce its carbon footprint by shipping by land exclusively.
in the kitchen
Like most freshwater fish, Suncoast tilapia is exceedingly mild with a small delicate flake. It has very little fat, making it ideal for most common cooking methods. It’s as easily breaded and fried as it is steamed, poached, baked, or sauteed. Fillets are uniformly thin, which makes preparation and cooking times convenient.
Certifications, Ratings and Awards
Tilapia farmed in recirculating tanks is rated “Green — Best Choice” by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
Suncoast Tilapia is currently pursuing a partnership with a recognized environmental NGO in which a portion of all sales goes directly to regional wetlands conservation efforts and the farm is an active participant in educational efforts. Details forthcoming soon.