The potential of irrigation reservoirs in northern Ghana to support Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) production in 1 m3 budget cages was assessed over six-months in three reservoirs (Bontanga, Golinga and Libga). Fingerlings with a mean weight of 17.0 ± 5.0 g were randomly stocked at 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 fish per cage in duplicate and fed with a commercial tilapia feed (Raanan, 30% protein level) at 3 to 5% body weight. The results indicated that the lower densities (50 and 100 fish m-3) had a higher specific growth rate (SGR) compared to higher densities (150-250 fish m-3). The gross yield (7.5–23.1 kg cage-1) differed with increasing density on all reservoirs. Consumers in the Tamale Metropolis preferred small sized tilapias (5-6 fish kg-1) and were willing to pay US$ 1.40-2.34 kg-1 of fish, while restaurants preferred 2-3 fish kg-1 and were willing to pay US$ 3.27- 3.51 kg-1. The 200 fish m-3 stocking density was the most profitable and is recommended for cage culture on reservoirs in northern Ghana.
Key words: Cage culture, growth performance, consumer preferences, Nile tilapia, reservoirs.
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