Nam Sai presently maintains a large number of strains of tilapia, together with a number of other species of fish such as striped catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), climbing perch (Anabas testudineus), rohu (Labeo rohita), silver barb (Puntius gonionotus), barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and giant Mekong catfish (Pangasianodon gigas). All of these fish need a certain amount of attention to prevent inbreeding, so as to ensure they are strong, possessing good growth and survival characteristics.
Since tilapia are our main product, we have invested a lot of time and effort into their improvement using selective breeding and this has been one of the main keys to Nam Sai’s success. In the early days, all tilapia were produced from Chitralada broodstock originating from stock purchased from the Asian Intitute of Technology, Bangkok. There were fast growing and strong and to this day are still a world-renowned strain of fish.
Other tilapia strains have been adopted by Nam Sai over the years, including GIFT, Big Nin, Thai red and Taiwanese red. Many other strains have been acquired, but have either not been adopted or in the process of. These include the Malaysia white, Ecuador red and the NAGRI red and black strains.
Nam Sai holds a huge breeding population of tilapia and has a good system to ensure that both old and new broodstock are used in producing new generations. This enables us to maintain high genetic diversity and ensure that inbreeding is not an issue. Nam Sai believes that domesticated, strong fish with high disease-resistance are most popular with farmers, as they perform better than weaker fast growing strains. Most broodstock development work is focused in this direction, but selection for growth is carried out occasionally. Colour selection is a major issue for reds and this is done both as a broodstock development activity and on all broodstock that are used for producing monsex fish. All fish with black spots are removed and vivid red fish are preferred over white, orange and yellow colorations.
Nam Sai is currently planning a new company to produce genetically improved tilapia broodfish that are free of important pathogens (SPF). Although still in the planning stage, considerable steps have already been made regarding the scientific and farming systems using, as well as to bring together a number of useful business partners that can work alongside Nam Sai to bring this project to fruition.