“Using unconventional agricultural waters”, the best opportunity to cultivate Artemia / Artemia greenhouse cultivation is on the agenda

Artemia is the main food of shrimp and aquatic production in Iran, but despite its huge reserves in the country, especially in Lake Urmia, a large part of it is now being imported. Lake Urmia is the largest source of Artemia production in the country. Although the condition of this living creature is acute and critical due to the current situation of Lake Urmia, but this creature can survive for many years in these difficult conditions.
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According to the public relations office of the Artemia Research Center of the country, quoted by the Agriculture Organization of West Azerbaijan, Artemia is the main food of shrimp, marine fish, ornamental fish and sturgeon in the early stages of growth and larval stage. Removing Artemia from the aquatic nutrition system leads to the collapse of the aquaculture industry.
Artemia increases the safety and survival of aquatic larvae and currently there is no substitute for feeding the post-shrimp larval stage.
The head of the Artemia Research Center of the country, stating that the breeding and production of Artemia requires a lot of water resources, said: "unconventional water, especially in the agricultural sector can be used to produce Artemia," One of the important goals of this center is the development and reproduction of Artemia from the unconventional waters of the agricultural sector, not only in West Azerbaijan, but also in the whole country.
Dr. Nekouei Fard pointed out: “For example, there is a pilot project in Aran and Bidgol cities in Isfahan province, which has created a pilot and extension farm for Artemia reproduction in a land of one thousand square meters. The results of this project were very fruitful. It is implemented experimentally and will be expected to be done in real farm size.”
Cultivation of Artima in greenhouses is on the agenda
The head of the Artemia Research Center announced the plan to cultivate Artemia in greenhouses in West Azerbaijan and said: "One of the most important measures is the use of unconventional water in the agricultural sector and brackish water to cultivate Artemia.  Since West Azerbaijan weather is cold and mountainous and growing Artemia in outdoor has a high economic risk, we plan for greenhouse cultivation.
He continued: "In this regard, by creating greenhouse structures, we will be able to produce and cultivate Artemia in small areas during the year, so we will have Artemia the entire year and we can meet part of the food requirements of the country’s aquatic industry."
He pointed out that according to the Sixth Fisheries Development Plan of Iran, 70 tons of Artemia cysts are needed annually. This number has increased in recent years due to the development of the aquaculture industry in the country. He said: "Unfortunately, despite huge production capacity of Artemia, more than 90% of the country's need for Artemia is met from abroad.”
The head of the Artemia Research Center, referring to the challenge of providing aquatic stocks in the country, especially in the fisheries sector, said: "with officials’ support, a large part of the country's aquatic industry needs can be met.
Artemia production in Fasandooz plain of Miandoab
One of the significant projects in Artemia production is the conversion of the Fasandoz plain of Miandoab, which was once set up for aquaculture in Miandoab but was stagnant due to limited water resources, to cultivate Artima.
The director of fisheries and aquatics of West Azerbaijan said in this regard: "Fasandoz plain of Miandoab is a unique place as a standard and pilot in which Artemia has been produced since 2014."
Mohammad Baqer Qoreishi continued: “45 hectares of Artemia breeding pond in Fasandoz plain of Miandoab are active and 60 hectares are under construction, which are trying to be ready for construction and operation by the end of the year.”
He stated: “The measures taken now have solved the problems of this complex. It is predicted that by the end of this year, the area of Artemia cultivation will increase to 200 hectares. In this regard, by producing 20 tons of Artemia cyst and 200 tons of Artemia biomass, at least 100 people will be employed in these farms. The industry of shrimp, sturgeon, marine fish and ornamental fish in the early stages of growth is 100% dependent on Artemia. Almost all the country's needs come from the United States and China, and today for any reason if the import of Artemia cysts stops there will be a great danger. Artemia Urmiana is one of the seven known species of bisexual Artemia in the world. Its nutritional value is optimal and it has more than 52% protein and 4% fat.  The combination and amount of amino acids and fatty acids of it, fully satisfies the freshwater aquatics needs. Artemia cyst reserves in Lake Urmia are significantly reduced compared to 1997. Its restoration plans in artificial pools and the creation of a gene bank, no matter how effective, cannot reduce the fear for the unequal struggle between water scarcity and salinity and the only living organism of the second Salt Lake of Urmia.”
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