Blackchin Tilapia ( Sarotherodon melanotheron )
Common Name: Tilapia,
Local Name: Gloria, Tilapiyang Arroyo (Tagalog), ?? (Cebuano)
Max Size: 28 cm
Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater
Depth: 1 – ?? m
Fishing Season: All Year Long
Minimum Size Limit: none
Recommended Bait/Lures: Masa (dough bait), Algae, worms
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)
This is a species of Tilapia native to Africa that was introduced into the waters of the Philippines by unknown means presumably for use in the aquaculture industry. BFAR denies any knowledge of the species introduction and has classified this fish as a invasive exotic species. It is a unique tilapia species due to its ability to tolerate high salinity. It can be found in many places around the Philippines where it has become well established and even a potential threat. Manila Bay and Bataan are two place where these fish have taken over. This fish is also present in Cebu City.
The local names of this species; Gloria and Tilapiyang Arroyo, are attributed to a former president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Blackchin’s small size is compared to the former presidents petite size, and the black spots on the snout of the fish are compared to a prominent mole on her face.
Gloria can be caught by anglers using bait, which makes them useful for the fishing community. Though they are small in size, often only reaching 4 inches, they can still be utilized as a food fish. Anglers are encouraged not to release these fish if they catch them and instead to eat them or dispose of them in another way. Some anglers also use small Gloria for bait for larger fish in both saltwater and freshwater.