Nigeria produces over 1 million metric tons of fish, most of which is tilapia, which is liked by consumers because of its distinct flavor and taste and is of interest to researchers because of its short production period and acceptability. Tilapia is an important food source and a major economic resource, it can survive in a wide range of environmental conditions, but it is a low-priced fish due to its overpopulation and small size, thus leading to low income.
Many methods are used to control its precocious or early maturity to limit overpopulation and small size. Recently a group of scientists studied the effects of the Devil’s claw plant on tilapia. Devil’s claw is an herb that has been used for back pain and arthritis for hundreds of years. It is native to South Africa. This inexpensive and readily available plant contains an alkaloid, tannins, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, anthocyanin, amino acids, steroids, and phenols.
They found that Devil’s claw leaf meal has anti-fertility effects that can help control tilapia reproduction, and its early maturity. Thus, they advocate its use in the developing world where hormones are expensive and not readily available.
This study has been published in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition.