The Department of Fisheries has awarded farmer Nurul Islam of Cox’s Bazar for his outstanding achievements in Artemia pond production. 

Muhammad Shaheen Imran, district commissioner of Cox’s Bazar, handed over the award to Nurul Islam at a programme on 25 July, reads a press release. 

The ceremony held with the presence of government officials, fishermen, fish and shrimp hatchery owners, non-governmental organisations, Artemia and aquaculture farmers, and coastal aquaculture and representatives of fisheries communities. 

This occasion took place during this year’s fish week celebration, under the inspiring slogan “Nirapad Mache Bhorbo Desh, Gorbo Smart Bangladesh (Let the country be filled with safe fish and build Smart Bangladesh).” 

Nurul Islam’s remarkable journey as Bangladesh’s first successful Artemia farmer has captivated the industry. He ingeniously combined salt culture with the production of Artemia cyst and biomass in his pond, earning him accolades and admiration. 

His innovative approach of supplying Artemia to hatcheries and utilising it as feed in shrimp and fish grow-out ponds has garnered much attention, contributing significantly to the advancement of aquaculture practices.

He is a marginalised salt farmer in Chowfaldandi of Cox’s Bazar Sadar under Cox`s Bazar district. He is the only earning member of a family with 5 members. The family’s livelihood has faced challenges due to fluctuating crude salt prices, making survival a constant struggle. However, a turning point came in 2020 when he learned about Artemia and its potential through the Artemia4Bangladesh project.

Determined to improve his family’s prospects, he embraced this new technology as a demonstration farmer after extensive consultations with project staff and fellow salt farmers. With the crucial technical and logistic support provided by the project team, he established an Artemia pond in mid-April 2021, stocking it with 100 Artemia nauplii per liter in his 35 decimal pond area.

Under the careful guidance of the project, he received comprehensive training in various aspects, including water quality measurement, fertilization, cyst and biomass harvesting, preservation, and networking with shrimp hatcheries for marketing. His dedication and hard work bore fruit, as he successfully produced Artemia cyst, Artemia biomass, and fish (ongoing after cycle ends production will be added) in his 35 decimal ponds. The Artemia biomass and cysts were sold at competitive prices, contributing significantly to his economic upliftment.

Expressing his gratitude, he said, “I am immensely delighted to receive this award, and I feel a deep sense of pride. Thanks to WorldFish and the Artemia4Bangladesh project for transforming my life.”

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