This work evaluated the efficiency of clove oil as anaesthetic in handling and transportation of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758). In the first experiment, safety concentrations of clove oil were assessed by measuring induction times to anaesthesia. The second experiment evaluated exposure times to anaesthetic. Clove oil efficiency during transportation was evaluated in a 24 h experiment using three concentrations of the anaesthetic (0, 9, and 18 mg.L-1). The most appropriate clove oil concentration to induce surgical anaesthesia was 90 mg.L-1. To biometry or other brief handling, the recommended concentration is 50-60 mg.L-1 as it provides fast recovery. Maximum anaesthesia time should be 10 min. The mortality rate of fish transported using 18 mg.L-1 of anaesthetic was significantly higher than that of the control group at 24 h of transportation and at 96 h after transportation. The fish transported using clove oil as anaesthetic presented more significant Na+ and K+ disorders as compared to the control group. As an anaesthetic, clove oil is efficient in the handling of Nile tilapia in routine fish hatchery procedures, although it should be avoided in the transportation.