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SDG- aligned Artemia Aquaculture Workshop

22 September 2021, Shanghai, China


Report SDG-Aligned Artemia Aquaculture Workshop

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Q&A / Panel discussion

A question-and-answer session was held with panellists providing feedback on questions from participants:

  • Regarding biosecurity measures in Artemia production, biosecurity starts with protection of the resource, for example not allowing aquaculture within catchments used for natural cyst production. Hyper-saline conditions were beneficial in excluding potential hosts from the environment. With good disinfection procedures during processing, it was possible to produce cysts that did not contain human or aquaculture pathogens. However, pathogens could enter during the hatching process in the hatchery, if care was not taken to maintain good conditions.
  • Many parthenogenetic Artemia strains occurred in China, it was likely that there would be some differences between them, but it was necessary to test different strains in order to document their characteristics.
  • Africa had considerable potential for Artemia production, but wild populations were little studied and commercial developments were limited at present.
  • Artemia availability was unlikely to become a constraint to future aquaculture development, assuming the ongoing trend of improving utilisation efficiency continued, and given the high potential for investments in Artemia research to deliver improved strains or farmed Artemia as a supplement to wild sources.


Conclusion and recommendations

The workshop made the following specific recommendations:

  • Develop improved guidelines for bio-secure production and use of Artemia in hatcheries, including an update of the FAO Artemia manual and convene regional Artemia training courses for local hatcheries, to disseminate good practices and facilitate adoption of standardised protocols.
  • In view of the large variety of species and strains of Artemia that are now available in the market their specific characteristics should be studied to identify their most suitable application for specific species of fish and crustaceans. This could relate to their nutritional composition, synchrony in hatching or enrichment characteristics.
  • Initiate strain selection and selective breeding to develop improved Artemia strains for aquaculture applications, noting the availability of the Artemia
  • Investigate the use of umbrella Artemia as successfully applied in the Vietnamese crab hatcheries for wider application in aquaculture, as a new source of live food in earlier larval stages, be it for shrimp or in fish.
  • Reconsider a wider use of Artemia enrichment techniques in hatcheries, as it is now restricted to applications in marine fish and crab production. This method not only allows enhancement of the nutritional value of the nauplii but can also be used as a vector to deliver, for example pre- or probiotics to the larvae.
  • Investigate the impact of climate change on Artemia production in inland lakes and coastal saltworks.
  • Develop science-based protocols to assure sustainable harvesting of wild Artemia sources, especially in central Asia.
  • Conserve Artemia biodiversity through means such as a cyst banks, species identification, “wild” vs “farmed” species, genotyping and strain characterisation.
  • Investigate integration of extractive Artemia farming with intensive fish/crustacean aquaculture.
  • Investigate the use of Artemia biomass as high value protein ingredient in human diets.
  • Consider integration of Artemia production in artisanal salt farming in Asia and Africa, desert/arid and salt-affected areas.


Closing remarks

The closing remarks were given by Matthias Halwart, FAO. He recounted the hypothesis of Patrick Sorgeloos at the 1976 FAO Technical Conference on Aquaculture in Kyoto, concerning the potential for Artemia to play a role in aquaculture, which FAO assisted in verifying, leading to Artemia becoming a widely accessible and suitable live food for fish and shrimp hatchery developments that were just taking off at that time. Over subsequent decades improvements in Artemia availability, sources and optimisations in utilisation had contributed to continued expansion of the fish and crustacean aquaculture. He noted that FAO had undertaken to prepare an updated Artemia manual to ensure more sustainable and bio secure use of this important food source. He noted the workshop’s advice to invest more in the study of Artemia biodiversity, sustainable exploitation, and management of salt lake resources in a changing climate, and the parallel need to explore farmed production of Artemia. He indicated that FAO’s Sub-Committee on Aquaculture would be informed of the progress highlighted by the workshop for member countries to consider further work on Artemia.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]


With the expansion of hatchery production, the demand for Artemia cysts has continued to increase. Annual consumption is now estimated at 3,500 – 4,000 tonnes, underpinning the production of over 900 billion crustacean post larvae and fish fry by a hatchery industry valued at more than USD 2 billion and the final production of over 10 million tonnes of high-value aquaculture species. With approximately 90 percent of the current Artemia production harvested from inland salt lakes, the future of the hatchery industry could be at risk and requires urgent attention.

A new international interdisciplinary approach is needed to tackle these Artemia issues and opportunities, like the breakthrough in Artemia use in aquaculture following the 1976 FAO Kyoto conference. The purpose of the workshop was to explore needs and opportunities for a new international initiative to guarantee a more sustainable provision of Artemia, both from natural sources and from controlled extractive Artemia farming integrated with salt production and other fish/crustacean aquaculture.

The workshop was held in conjunction with the Global Conference on Aquaculture Millennium +20 in Shanghai, China with international participation via video conference. The programme included technical presentations and a Q&A session with participants and an expert discussion panel. Over 400 people participated in the workshop, both locally in China and via video conference.

The workshop was organised by:

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
  • Laboratory of Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center, Ghent University.
  • Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific.
  • Artemia Association of China.
  • Asian Regional Artemia Reference Center

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About IAAC Click Here

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International Workshop on Artemia Pond/Tank Production Click Here

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Provisional list of participants Click Here

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Meeting With Mr. Saxon Bosworth Click Here

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New Artemia Literature Click Here

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NACA Artemia Webinar Click Here


SDG-Aligned Artemia Workshop Click Here


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