. Tilapia are warm climate fish. This tilapia pictured above was dipped up with a net far north of where it could possible survive the harsh winters. Obviously it was released from someones aquarium. This fish might be a Lemon Cichlid.
Below is another Cichlid, possibly a Blue Tilapia. This one is more commonly known and is a favorite food fish all across the world.
Tilapia is a name that applies to undreds of species of cichlid fish. All tilapia are cichlids but not all cichlids are considered tilapia. Tilapia live in fresh water in shallow streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. They live on multiple continents as well. They have long been an important food fish in africa and now are a valuable food fish around the world due to tilapia being raised via aquaculture. Tilapia have become an undesirable exotic fish in many waters where they are not native.
Tilapia is the fifth most important fish that is farmed via aquaculture. Tilapia grow rapidly in fish farms and do a good job of quickly converting feed into weight. Tilapia require warm waters so farming is mostly confined to warm tropical or subtropical areas. However occasionally they are farmed in close association with other industries that can provide waste heat to keep the waters warm even when the air temperatures drop.
Tilapia grown for food given hormones to convert all the females into males. This is done to prevent them from breeding. Strict control of numbers and size of individuals is needed to maximize the efficiency.
Currently China is the largest producer of tilapia in the world and that isn't likely to change any time soon.