Jan 15, 2022, 2:31 PM
Journalist ID: 1842
News Code: 84614071
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Artemia a treasure deep in Urmia Lake

Urmia, IRNA - Artemia, a type of aquatic crustaceans also known as brine shrimp, is the only living creature in Urmia Lake, which should be preserved now that the lake is facing severe evaporation problem.

Urmia Lake has the potential to harvest more than 300 tons of Artemia, which can help West Azarbaijan province make a great deal of money and pave the way for being independent from administrative budget.

Artemia was found in all over Urmia Lake, when the lake did not face water shortage, but the tiny creature slowly disappears; so, media outlets are expected to alarm authorities and people over such an outlook.

Urmia Lake is one of the biggest natural Artemia habitats in the world. It is a landlocked sodium chloride lake located in the northwestern region of Iran.

Ali Nekouifard, Chairman of the National Artemia Research Center in Iran, said that Urmia Lake is one of the most important habitats of Artemia throughout the world, noting that only 10 percent of Urmia Lake's Artemia is sufficient to be used to meet Iran's need for importing this tiny aquatic product.

Nekouifard told IRNA on Saturday that harvesting Artemia from Urmia Lake should be conducted under the supervision of authorized centers in Iran, because this lake can turn into a source of exporting Artemia to other countries.

Now, Iran imports more than 90 percent of its needed Artemia from other countries, the official noted.

Unfortunately, smugglers excessively harvested Artemia from Urmia Lake last year, he said, warning that due to the fact that harvested Artemia needs to be processed by using a special technology; so, most of the smuggled Artemia decayed.

The price of a kilogram of Artemia of average quality stands at 50 to 120 dollars; therefore, harvesting the whole capacity of Urmia Lake's Artemia can make West Azarbaijan province independent from administrative budget, Nekouifard argued.

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