From Lake to Grocery Store: The Journey of a Farmed Fish

From Lake to Grocery Store: The Journey of a Farmed Fish
  • Regal Springs Tilapia are raised sustainably, starting from the moment they’re born in our own hatcheries
  • Once mature, our Tilapia are transferred to floating net pens, where natural currents and high-quality feed make them healthy and strong
  • The Tilapia are processed and packaged fresh, and no part of the fish is wasted

Not all fish farms are created equal, and not all fish species are easy to farm. But at Regal Springs, we’ve brought together the best of both worlds by farming Tilapia. They are hardy fish that thrive in groups, have fast growth rates, short lifespans and can be raised on plant- and cereal-based feeds.

So if we were to follow Regal Springs Tilapia from farm to market, what would we see?

In the Hatchery

At Regal Springs, we never take our stock from the wild, so the journey of our Tilapia begins at our onsite hatcheries. The fish eggs are fertilized in meticulously-monitored facilities, allowing strong, healthy hatchlings to be spawned in a safe environment. Here, the young fish are nourished and raised until they reach maturity and are ready to be transferred to our lake pens.

Out on the Lake

Regal Springs farming takes place in floating, netted pens, which are suspended in deep water. This allows the fish to swim through spacious enclosures in a natural setting, but stops them from foraging on the lakebed.

They also get lots of exercise. Tilapia grow stronger when they swim through open-water currents—and if the lakes become too calm, we generate our own localized currents for them to swim against. When the Tilapia are lean and fit, they have a better flavor and texture.

Our Tilapia are given only the best primarily vegetable-based feed: the meal is made on-site from grains, beans and cereals. When it’s feeding time, a Regal Springs team member brings a large bag of feed to each of our floating pens and casts the pellets evenly throughout the enclosure to ensure the fish have enough to eat. The Tilapia are never treated with chemicals, growth hormones or antibiotics. And because of their primarily vegetable-based diet and pristine lake locations, Regal Springs Tilapia never accumulate toxic minerals such as mercury, nor do they feed on algae or mud in the water.

To Your Table

Raw Tilapia Fillet

At harvest time, the Tilapia are transported live to an onsite facility and processed humanely within minutes. All Regal Springs products are carefully inspected, hand-cut and prepared by our expert staff as loins, fillets, portions or whole gutted Tilapia.

While only 35% of the fish is processed for consumption, no part of the Tilapia ever goes to waste. The remainder of the Tilapia is still used in other ways—the skin and scales are collected for collagen extraction, while other non-edible sections are turned into the biodiesel that powers the company’s vehicles and generators. That’s how seriously we take our commitment to sustainability.

Once the fish is inspected and trimmed, it is packaged—either frozen or fresh—and sent to markets in Europe and the United States. A journey that started in the Regal Springs hatcheries ends at your family’s dinner table: an excellent source of protein that’s rich in vitamins, easy to prepare and delicious.

If you want to learn more about our fish farms, read about our ASC certification and the diet of our Tilapia.

Photos: Regal Springs, Regal Springs, Regal Springs