The artemia Project

This one is really innovative, although the production of artemia has been along for a long time now. What is new in this project is that we are taking biofuel biotechnology and applying it to Brine Shrimp aquaculture. By doing this, we will be able to reduce the space required for commercial production.

Brine shrimp (Artemia Salina) is used as a live feed in hatcheries of several aquaculture species, in some cases like shrimp or marine finfish, it’s irreplaceable. Besides the high content protein and the right essential fatty acids and nutrients, it is still not clear until today why the Cyst of this crustacean is so critical, but the fact is that hatcheries of those two types of species cannot reach profitable levels of production without using Brine Cysts.

The problem with producing Brine Shrimp is that they consume loads of phytoplankton, and they, in time, require a lot of space to be produced. Biofuel biotechnology can solve this problem, but in order for this project to work, first we have to determine the optimal diet using high quality algal diets for maintaining an oviparous Artemia population for the purposes of commercial cyst production.

From the economic point of view, the most critical value of the Brine Shrimp comes from the performance of their Cysts within the aquaculture industry, when used as a source of nutrition for sea finfish and shrimp, in their larval stages.

Biotechnology has made several attempts to find nutritional substitutes for Brine Shrimp, mainly by enriching alternatives species (rotifers and copepods), or artificially encapsulating its major nutritional elements. Both processes have shown positives results, but their production costs can’t compete with the naturally produced Brine Shrimp Cysts.

 Sea Farmer Inc. has interests in commercial production of high quality Artemia cysts to supply the increasing demand worldwide. Current sources of cysts are from natural collection where cyst quality is highly dependent on environmental condition and from current commercial production facilities that rely on inexpensive, low cost, low quality feed. Sea Farmer Inc. is interested in determining the feasibility of the use of high quality algal feeds for use in their Artemia Pilot Project (APP). We propose determining optimal diets using a small-scale culture system before moving to the pilot scale. Once an optimal diet is determined, a 2nd project could investigate the feasibility of using photobioreactors to supply a pilot scale production system.

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