Skinless tilapia (Dreochromis niloticus x D. aureus) fillets were covered with a gelatin coating containing benzoic acid as an antimicrobial agent. Benzoic acid content of fish fillets was used to estimate the amount of gelatin coated on fillet surface, and it was found that the gelatin contents were between 16.3 mg and 17.3 mg per g of fillets. Aerobic and anaerobic microbial loads, volatile basic nitrogen (VBN) contents, and sensory evaluation were used as indicators to survey the feasibility of an antimicrobial gelatin coating to prolong the shelf-life of tilapia fillets under refrigeration. After 7 days of storage under refrigeration, tilapia fillets coated with gelatin containing benzoic acid had acceptable VBN contents, increased moderately in microbial loads, and showed no significant sensory difference (P < 0.05) from fresh fillets. The results indicate that an antimicrobial gelatin coating is suitable for preservation of tilapia fillets.