Microbiological and chemical characteristics for tilapia reared in 0.25-acre artificial ponds were investigated. At time of harvest, average bacterial count of the pond-reared fish was 7.3 × 102 per cm2 while pond water contained 2.2 × 104 organisms per ml. Moraxella-Acinetobacter and Micrococcus were initially the dominant organisms present on the fish. The total bacterial count of the tilapia decreased during the first 3 d of storage on ice and then remained stable for the next 6 d after which there was a sharp increase. Pseudomonas became the dominant organism during the later stages of ice-storage. Total volatile nitrogen and pH increased with increasing aerobic plate counts.

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