A critical goal today and for the future is reducing production costs to meet increasing food requirements of the growing world population. Economical, environmentally-conscious, and sustainable aquaculture is essential to meeting the burgeoning food needs. Tilapia are an important component of the global aquaculture industry; a major challenge for the industry is reducing the use of fish oil and fish meal in tilapia production, including with different alternative items such as insects. Sex-reversed juvenile Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) (n = 2,400; 2.1 ± 0.17 g) were fed varying dietary supplementation levels (3, 6, and 9%) of black soldier fly, Hemertia illucens L., pre-pupae meal and evaluated during 49 days in a laboratory. Growth [final body weight, weight gain, specific growth rate, mean biomass, total biomass, and survival], feed utilization [feed conversion ratio and protein efficiency ratio], and feeding cost for the experimental diets were compared with those of a commercial diet. With the exception of protein efficiency ratio, diets for the other parameters analyzed did not differ. Fish fed the check and the 6% black soldier fly meal had significantly larger protein efficiency ratio values (2.66 and 2.65, respectively). Results suggested that tilapia diet could be boosted with 6% black soldier fly meal without negative effect in growth.
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Vol. 44 • No. 1