Introducing Circularity Through Climate-Smart Aquaculture in Bangladesh
WorldFish Bangladesh, 335/A (Old) 42/A (New), Gift Road 114, Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Muhammad Meezanur Rahman Muhammad.Rahman@cgiar.org
Brief description of involvement in Artemia activities or plans
In Bangladesh, 95 percent of crude salt is produced in Cox’s Bazar by 50,000 artisanal salt farmers across about 27,000 ha of land. With roughly half a million people directly or indirectly involved in salt production, it is an important industry to the region. Yet the industry faces several major challenges, such as increased operating land and labor costs, unemployment during the rainy season and low productivity in aquaculture. These are the biggest obstacles to improving the livelihoods of salt farmers in Bangladesh.
However, a promising new type of aquaculture technology could turn things around for the country’s salt industry. Brine shrimp Artemia nauplii, a small branchiopod crustacean, constitutes the most widely used live-food item for the larviculture of crustaceans and marine fish. Yet recent observations and workshop findings from the Artemia4Bangladesh project suggest that the country’s salt/aquaculture farmers are unaware of Artemia farming and the potential technological improvements it offers for shrimp and fish production in their salt farms. The unique property of Artemia to form dormant embryos, called “cysts,” accounts to a great extent for its designation as a convenient, suitable and excellent larval food source. Currently, Bangladesh imports 40-50 tonnes (t) of dry Artemia cysts annually, worth approximately USD 5 million. In addition to its use in aquaculture, Artemia is also used for human consumption because of its high protein and fatty acid content.
Across Asia, several other countries, particularly Vietnam and Thailand, have adopted new technologies to improve the profitability of their salt farms through the production of Artemia cysts and biomass. Integrated salt-Artemia production is a lucrative business, and it has improved the socioeconomic conditions of thousands of families in places like Vinh Chau-Bac Lieu in Vietnam.
The overall objective of the Artemia4Bangladesh project (EU DG DEVCO DeSIRA project implemented by WorldFish) is to enhance food and nutrition security in Bangladesh through climate-smart innovative technologies. Two further specific objectives are to (1) introduce an integrated salt and Artemia production system and (2) increase marine aquaculture production and productivity in the salt farms.
The project aims to build capacity through demonstration, training, and research and innovation.
- Demonstration: Integrate Artemia cysts and biomass into aquaculture production in salt farms and recirculation systems in shrimp hatcheries.
- Training: Provide training for relevant government and nongovernment officials, representatives from private companies, salt/fish farmers, hatchery technicians, extension agents, local service providers and young professionals.
- Research and innovation: Develop climate-smart technologies, process and use locally produced Artemia cysts and biomass, improve seed quality and availability, and use hatchery/nursery rearing techniques of marine fish.
Most important Artemia-related papers/books:
Rahman MM, Sorgeloos, P. 2020. Potential of Artemia Production in Cox’s Bazar District. DoF 2020. National Fish Week 2020 Compendium (in Bangla). Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Bangladesh 160 p. http://www.fisheries.gov.bd/
Rahman, MM, Sorgeloos, P. 2020. Prospects of Artemia Production in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Aquaculture Asia Pacific, 16. 55-57. https://aquaasiapac.com/issue/sept-oct-2020/
Rahman MM, Hoa NV, Sorgeloos, P 2021. Guidelines for Artemia production in Artisanal Solar salt farms in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 89 p.