Ill. high school raising its own tilapia

Hope to provide 100% organic tilapia to cafeteria.

May 31—At Olympia High School, a rural school in the Olympia Community School Unit District in Stanford, Ill., school, has started raising tilapia as part of its Grow Our Own project.

The fish were added in late April after the Illinois Department of Natural Resources granted a permit for an aquaculture program. Tilapia are not native to the area but are a popular food fish commonly used in aquaculture.

Staff and students are currently raising 50 to 60 fish in 400- to 500-gallon tanks in the school's greenhouse. The fish will be grown until the adult size of about 1 to 1.5 pounds each.

The goal is to eventually produce 100% organic fillets to supply the school cafeteria or be sold or donated to charity, said biology teacher Pete Cleary.

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