Brine shrimp Artemia nauplii constitute the most widely used live-food item for the larviculture of crustaceans and fish. The advantages of Artemia nauplii compared to inert diets are its small size (450 μm), movement stimulating feeding responses, high digestibility, high nutritional content in terms of protein and highly unsaturated fatty acids. Annually, about 3,500 MT of Artemia cysts are marketed worldwide. The unique property of Artemia is its ability to to form dormant embryos or 'cysts'. The cysts are available year-round in large quantities along the shorelines of hypersaline lakes, coastal lagoons and solar salt works scattered over the four continents. At present, Bangladesh imports 40-50 metric tons dry Artemia cysts annually worth an approximate value of USD 4 million. Some countries such as Thailand and Vietnam have successfully adopted technologies for Artemia production in solar salt farms.
The aim of this manual is to provide technological guidelines to extension agents, researchers, and salt farmers on Artemia production in salt farms in Cox’s Bazar. The manual was prepared through review recent of activities in Artemia production, the 1996 FAO Manual on the production and use of live food for aquaculture, the 2019 book “ Principle of Artemia culture in solar salt works”, relevant books and published research papers.
The manual covers:
- Biology and ecology of Artemia.
- Cyst biology and physiology during the hatching process.
- Factors to consider in proper site selection.
- Different models of Artemia culture.
- Steps in proper pond construction.
- Procedure in shortening the duration of Artemia pond preparation through application of concentrated sea water or crude salt.
- Standard method of Artemia cyst incubation and stocking.
- Artemia pond maintenance and management.
- Suitable algae production for feeding Artemia.
- Preparation of processed feed and supplementary feeding.
- Diseases and health management.
- Artemia cyst and biomass harvesting, processing and preservation.
Earlier studies described limited knowledge, improper pond management, and climatic conditions as bottlenecks in Artemia production in salt farms. Recent improvement in Artemia production include deepening ponds to more than 50 cm water depth, a stocking density of 100 nauplii per litre, stimulating the growth of suitable algae species (diatoms, green algae), optimum supplementary feeding of green water with fermented agricultural waste products (molasses, monosodium glutamate by-products), use of formulated shrimp feed, improvement of routine pond management such as raking of pond bottom, and health management through application of bioflocs.
Development of this manual was funded by the European Union. It is published by the Artemia4Bangladesh Project (WorldFish). Redistributed with permission.
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