Breeder touts earning potential of aquatic crustacean

Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw, who has cultivated artemia in Ayeyawady Region, speaks about the potential for the industry at the Myanmar Fishery Federation meeting on Tuesday.— Photo: Ye Myint
Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw, who has cultivated artemia in Ayeyawady Region, speaks about the potential for the industry at the Myanmar Fishery Federation meeting on Tuesday.— Photo: Ye Myint

Yangon, 9 June—Technological know-how and market access are required to turn the breeding of artemia, also known as brine shrimp, into a profitable industry in Myanmar, aquaculture entrepreneur Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw said Tuesday.
Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw has led trials in Ayeyawady Region to cultivate the aquatic crustaceans. Their dormant eggs, or cysts, are a valuable source of live feed in aquaculture due to their ability to be stored for a long time before hatching.
“Ayeyawady Region has huge potential for the development of this business,” Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw said.  “Production of artemia cysts, which can fetch US $50 per kilogram, will create jobs and raise incomes for local farmers.”
A 1-hectare (2.5 acres) plot can yield 100 kg of artemia, he said.
Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw, who was part of a Myanmar delegation to Vietnam to learn artemia breeding last year, successfully conducted artemia cyst and biomass production on his 100-acre salt and prawn farm with technical support from the European Union last April.
Artemia are used as live feed in fish, shrimp and crab hatcheries.
Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw said he had invited Vietnamese partners to enter artemia cyst and biomass production in Myanmar under a 50-50 joint venture in which he would provide the land and cover all operational costs, with the counterparts providing technology and market access.
India and Saudi Arabia are also interested in artemia breeding in Myanmar, he added.
“We can do it ourselves, but lack of market access is a problem.”
As artemia breeding is combined with traditional salt production business in Ayeyawady, where 30,000 salt fields were in operation before severe cyclonic storm Nargis in 2008, artemia cultivation could boost incomes for salt field owners and workers.
Although artemia cultivation has a much higher cost per hectare than salt production, the income is also much higher, Dr Aung Kyaw Zaw said.  GNLM

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