Tilapia Cost

Last Updated on December 27, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

There are nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish commonly known as Tilapia, inhabiting mainly freshwaters like streams, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Tilapia is the fish of warm water. Coptodonini and Oreochromini are the most important Tilapia fish economically speaking. According to FAO, from 1950 – 2009 its consumption has greatly increased. In the United States, it is ranked as fourth by consumption.

How much does Tilapia cost?

Usually, you will spend on fresh whole tilapia around $3 to $8 per pound.  Imported tilapia, as you might expect, will usually be considerably cheaper than getting it from a farm in the United States.

You can find this type of fish at Fisherman’s Cove, an online seafood retailer, which sells it for $5 per pound.

The cost of Tilapia depends on which variety you want to buy. This fish is available in three different varieties: live, fresh, and frozen. If you want to buy Tilapia in the United States, you will usually find live fish from farms. Fresh fish which comes from Canada and locally from different states of America is also available in stores. Frozen Tilapia is a product that comes from Asia mostly. This type of product is the cheapest for the fish that you will usually find.

You might also like our articles about the cost of Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, or Axolotl.

Here is a complete overview of the costs of different varieties of Tilapia:

Frozen Tilapia Cost

Frozen Tilapia is available in the frozen food section in most grocery stores. Its cost is considerably smaller than for other varieties. You can buy it for a price that will usually be in the range of $2 to $4 per pound. Frozen Tilapia mostly comes in packages in form of fillets. Due to its easy-to-use packaging, most buyers like to buy this type of product. Another great reason to buy frozen Tilapia is its price. It costs less than other varieties.

If you are representing a business and want to buy Tilapia at wholesales rates, you can buy it from reliable Asian marketplaces. If you import it from Asia, you will find it dramatically lower rates.  You can also manage to ship individually if you are knowledgeable to handle things like this. Buying it this way you can easily find it for rates of $500 to $1,200. Drop-shipping charges can vary according to your location.

Fresh Tilapia Cost

Fresh Tilapia costs between $3 to $8 per pound. You can buy it as a whole, skinless and in the form of fillets as well. As fresh Tilapia is not very exposed to different environmental conditions and handled inside America or Canada, it is much safer to consume and will usually lead to considerably fewer concerns regarding health. One can expect to pay more and spending more time cutting or cleaning it, but it is always recommended to eat fresh fish.

Live Tilapia Cost

Live Tilapia can be found in warm waters. In the United States, it mostly comes from farms, even though you can sometimes find it freshly fished. You can buy live Tilapia at different prices according to its size. Small-sized fish costs between $1 to $2 and a full-grown fish can cost between $10 to $15.

What makes Tilapia a fish that is enjoyed by most people?

Tilapia is among the most popular types of fish for knowledgeable consumers due to the following qualities:

  • It has a mild flavor. There is not any strong smell or taste of fish.
  • It is usually affordable for the average consumer. A reasonable price is a strong attribute for any product.
  • It is easy to cook. It can be easily processed into fillets. One can cook it as boneless fillet, or as a whole skinless fish.
  • Tilapia is enriched with protein, along with low saturated fats and carbohydrates.

Known varieties

Like other types of fish, Tilapia is available in different forms and packaging. Here is a brief overview of the known Tilapia varieties.


Live Tilapia mostly comes from Farms. Buying live Tilapia depends mostly on where you live. As we already mentioned above, Tilapia is a fish of warm waters, found in freshwater. So, if you want to purchase it live, farms are the best choice.

In the United States, many farms allow you to buy live Tilapia.


Tilapia Prepared to be CookedFrozen Tilapia is the cheapest variety, available worldwide. Most countries import frozen Tilapia from Asia and Africa. Many people buy frozen fish due to its low price, but it is highly recommended to eat fresh or live fish. If you want to purchase frozen fish, be careful, as poor farming conditions can damage your health.


Being a warm water fish, Tilapia is easily available in Asia and Africa in the form of fresh fish. In European countries, it comes from the United States of America and Canada. The price of Fresh Tilapia could be slightly higher than the cost of frozen varieties, but it is a lot safer for human health in general.

Keep in mind

While purchasing food products, you should always check their nutritional values. Before purchasing, you should check the origin of the fish. Farm fish may have less nutritional value than freshwater fish. If you buy fresh fish, it will be smaller in weight after you clean it and remove its skin, so get it according to your needs.

You should always try to buy healthy alternatives in terms of food products, while also keeping an eye on your budget.

Tips to save money

If you want to save money, buy imported Tilapia rather than fresh fish or live fish. Imported Tilapia is much cheaper than locally available from the United States.

In the United States, you can buy it in Frozen boxes ranging from $2 to $4. If you don’t want to buy frozen and want it fresh but still at a low price, try to buy it at wholesale markets or Wenders. You may have to buy a bigger quantity, but you can save it by freezing it for another day.

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