WorldFish Bangladesh, with financial support from the European Union, is set to implement an integrated salt and Artemia production project named 'Artemia4Bangladesh' in Cox's Bazar district.
The project aims to introduce an integrated salt and Artemia production system and increase marine aquaculture production and productivity in salt farms, said a press statement issued on Wednesday.
Artemia is a type of aquatic organism, which is cultured in highly saline water and used as live food for fish and shrimp larvae, especially in hatcheries.
Currently, the country annually imports 40 tonnes of Artemia for the larvae culture in shrimp hatcheries, which is valued at around $4 million.
Artemia culture in coastal salt farms appears to be a very lucrative sector, which is expected to open a new window of opportunities for marginalised salt farmers and the fisheries sector of Bangladesh.
A day-long training titled 'Artemia Inoculation in Pond and Management' was held under the Artemia4Bangladesh project at a hotel in Cox's Bazar on Wednesday.
Nguyen Van Hoa, professor at the Can Tho University in Vietnam; and Dr Patrick Sorgeloos, professor at the Ghent University in Belgium, among others, participated in the training.
Dr Muhammad Meezanur Rahman, scientist of WorldFish moderated the event.
The discussion covered the critical steps of Artemia inoculation in ponds, lessons learned from other countries, small-scale processing, preservation of Artemia cyst and biomass, and the potential of profitable Artemia culture in salt farms of Cox`s Bazar.
During the session, the project team leader Dr Meezan said the development of Artemia culture technology in Cox's Bazar's salt farms will not only improve the socioeconomic condition of salt farmers here but will also reduce the import dependence of Artemia.
Md. Hafizur Rahman, DGM, BSCIC, said the active engagement of global research organisations, national-level public and private agencies, and other project stakeholders could enhance the long-term sustainability of this project.
Other government and non-government officials, private sector professionals, media representatives and project staffs of Artemia4Bangladesh, also joined the workshop.