Artemia opens new doors to aquaculture in Bangladesh

Speakers at a workshop in Dhaka organised by WorldFish, spoke on ensuring the domestically produced Artemia in the country to sustain the development of shrimp, crab and fish industry in Bangladesh, said a press release.

The ‘Final Workshop and Fair’ of European Union-funded Artemia4Bangladesh Project was held at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre, Dhaka on 11 June. Chaired by Syed Md. Alamgir, Director General, Department of Fisheries (DoF), the event was joined by representatives from government departments, research organisations, universities, NGOs and the private sectors. Md. Abdur Rahman, Minister, Fisheries and Livestock, was the chief guest. Sayeed Mahmood Belal Haider, Secretary, MoFL and Charles Whiteley, ambassador and head of European Union Delegation, attended as special guests.

Dr. Zulfi­kar Ali, Director General, of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) and Dr. Patrick Sorgeloos, Emeritus Professor of Ghent University, Belgium, participated as the guests of honour, said the press release.

On behalf of Director General of WorldFish Dr. Essam Yassin Mohammed, the Director, WorldFish’s Programs and Impact Director Ann Fleming attended the event virtually.

Md. Abdur Rahman emphasised the implementation of climate-smart technologies like Artemia for sustainable development of aquaculture, stating “The development of Artemia cultivation along with salt farming in the country's salt farms has opened up new possibilities for our aquaculture. ”

Charles Whiteley remarked, “Bangladesh has proven its capability of overcoming various natural adversities and working for food security through climate-smart aquaculture technology.”

Dr. Md. Zulfikar Ali expressed optimism that Artemia has a bright future and is confident of working with BFRI, WorldFish in future research work on it.

Syed Md. Alamgir, chairperson of the workshop mentioned “A groundbreaking chapter has begun with the cultivation of Artemia in Bangladesh by EU Funded Artemia4bangladesh project of WorldFish, which has a long way to go to accomplish this, research institutes, universities, various NGOs and donors should come forward.”

Emeritus Professor of Ghent University, Belgium Dr. Patrick Sorgeloos, Technical team leader of Artemia4Bangladesh project Dr. Meezanur Rahman and Interim Country Representative of WorldFish Bangladesh Dr. Binoy Kumar presented highlighting various aspects of Artemia cultivation, climate-smart aquaculture technology and future potential of Artemia in Bangladesh.

In addition, a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Benoy Kumar Barman was held with seven panelists -- Hubert Blom of European Union; Mr. Shahidul Alam Chowdhury, SHAB; Principal Scientific Officer of DoF Dr. Md. Abdur Rauf; Dr. Shafiqur Rahman, Principal Scientific Officer, Dr. Rafiqul Islam Sarder, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Fisheries, BAU, Mymensingh; Dr. Meezanur Rahman, WorldFish; Dr. Patrick Sorgeloos, Ghent University.

The panelists provided important insights on what can be done to sustain the success of this climate smart innovation, further research and marketing strategy.

WorldFish has been implementing the Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) Program of the European Union funded Artemia4Bangladesh Project since March 2020. The objective of the project was to increase productivity of salt farmers on production of Artemia and related aquaculture systems to increase their income. For the ­first time, the project has successfully introduced an environment-friendly climate resilient system on mass production of Artemia and diversified aquaculture involving smallholder salt farmers in the coastal areas in Cox’s Bazar, the press release said.