World Aquaculture - June 2023

36 JUNE 2023 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG Countries such as Brazil, China, Ecuador, Thailand and Vietnam have been successful in adopting technologies to improve the income of salt farmers through the production of Artemia cysts and biomass (van Stappen et al. 2019). WorldFish has been implementing a European Union funded project entitled “Introducing Circularity through Climate-Smart Aquaculture in Bangladesh (Artemia4Bangladesh)” under Development of Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) program. The objective of the project is to increase productivity of salt producers and aquaculture farmers, facilitated by Artemia-related innovative initiatives in the Cox’s Bazar area (Fig. 1). Artemia Pond Culture Procedure Critical parameters are the selection of Artemia strain, site selection, pond construction/preparation, maintenance of optimum salinity levels in the ponds, Artemia cyst hatching and nauplii inoculation, enhancement of algae growth, pond management, supplementary feeding, harvesting, processing and preservation of cyst and biomass (Rahman et al. 2022). Flat lands, clay and alkaline soils, a proper dike system to prevent leakage, a drain and canal system as well as favorable climate (i.e., long dry season, low rainfall and suitable temperatures to accelerate evaporation) are Introduction In Bangladesh, 95 percent of crude salt is produced in the Cox’s Bazar area 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 for the region. The industry faces several major challenges, such as increased operating, land and labor costs, unemployment during the rainy season and low productivity in aquaculture. Salt production is hampered due to climate-induced hazards such as erratic rainfall and cyclones. These are the biggest obstacles to improving the livelihoods of salt farmers in Bangladesh. Salt farmers of Cox’s Bazar are very poor. Recent surveys indicate that salt farmers average household size is 6.2, 80 percent operate salt production on leased land, annual income of the households is less than US$1,000/ha. Crude salt production contributes 60-70 percent of the annual income of salt farmers, 40 percent of salt farmers have no savings and 90 percent of the farmers’ families have low dietary diversity. Approximately 75 percent of the salt production area is used for extensive aquaculture during the rainy season. Therefore, climate-smart and nutritionsensitive technologies are needed to increase income, improve livelihoods and tackle malnutrition of the salt farmers’ families. Brine Shrimp Artemia Pond Culture in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh Muhammad Meezanur Rahman and Patrick Sorgeloos Rice field Artemia pond Land for crude salt production FIGURE 1. Artemia cyst production pond at Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.