Artemia remains a critical feed source for larval fish and crustaceans. As the global aquaculture industry continues to expand, so does the demand for Artemia cysts, which underpin the hatchery production phase for around 10 million tonnes of aquaculture. Around 90% of current Artemia cysts are naturally produced and harvested from inland salt lakes. There is a need to assure the sustainable supply of Artemia cysts to support hatchery production, from both wild and farmed sources.
An international and interdisciplinary approach aims to tackle these Artemia issues and opportunities, as happened following the breakthrough in Artemia use in aquaculture following the 1976 FAO Kyoto conference.
In November 2019, a meeting of Artemia experts in Kuala Lumpur conceived of establishing the International Artemia Aquaculture Consortium, a network of scientists and institutions that would collaborate in exploring opportunities such as the conservation of Artemia biodiversity, development of science-based protocols for sustainable harvesting of wild sources, strain selection and selective breeding, and many more. A series of workshops was hosted by the consortium that led to key conclusions and recommendations that will be part of a report that will be considered by the FAO Committee on Fisheries.
The consortium has launched a new website which will include publications and training courses on good practices.