During a fact finding and goal establishing mission of 23rd to the 29th of September, 2017, prof Komen and dr Kals from Wageningen university , together with mr Smolders of the Dutch embassy in Teheran, and mr Lomans of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food quality in the Netherlands visited IFSRO research institutes in Anzali and Ahwaz, fish processing companies in the Persian gulf, and two institutes of the Iranian Fisheries Organisation or Shilat (IFO). Based on discussions with the Iranian deputy minister and colleagues from IFSRO, we identified several joint research and cooperation priorities: For fish breeding, the single most important priority is the development of breeding programs for the existing and new species, to increase the productivity of the Iranian Aquaculture sector. This requires capacity building through training courses and joint research projects. Training courses can be offered online and on-site, with the purpose of delivering hands-on tools that can be used to develop and execute breeding programs capacity. Caspian brown trout is a high potential new species for the Caspian sea area. Broodstock has been imported which provides an excellent starting point for a dedicated breeding program. Tilapia is a species with high potential for development in the southern and desert areas of Iran. Environmental restrictions currently prohibit large scale culture. Dutch industry partners have expertise in recirculating aquaculture systems for tilapia and all-male production. A pilot should be identified which should involve IFSRO /IFO institutes and private partners to explore the development of tilapia culture under zero environmental impact conditions. For fish processing four objectives are identified: 1. to increase the human consumption of the small pelagic species like anchovy, kilka and sardines currently used for fishmeal. 2. To increase the resource use efficiency of tuna by products 3. the increase of the use of lantern fish for both fishmeal and human consumption and 4. The development of product using carp as a raw material. For each of the four goals a brief introduction, and suggested plan of action is described. Which of and how many of the four objectives can move into a pilot depends on the funding and priorities set by the private sector. The persons involved in the mission are of the opinion that the Islamic Republic of Iran has great potential to increase aquaculture production/products in Iran through the introduction of new technologies (breeding and processing) and species. These will increase the added value and resource use efficiency of fish. The plans of action for joint research and cooperation are a good start to develop joint cooperation projects on these priority areas. Yet, the execution of the plans of action for joint research and cooperation has to be made concrete by the involvement of both IFSRO and the private sector. The involvement of IFSRO is instrumental for capacity building. The private sector is crucial for funding, production and commercialisation of the products developed. In the second stage of this project, which took place from 8th until the 13th of June 2019, a short mission, was organized. During the mission a pilot farm for brackish water farming of Nile tilapia was visited in Bafgh, followed by a meeting with the deputy governor of Yazd, and the director of AREEO in Yazd, to discuss the opportunities for a larger collaborative research project. The mission was followed by a one-day workshop on June 12 in Tehran where several experts of Dutch aquaculture production and trade gave presentations in a number of parallel sessions, jointly organized by IFSRI and the Netherlands Embassy. The workshop was highly successful and attracted more than 150 attendants, mostly Iranian representatives from the private sector, research institutes and others.
Komen, H., Kals, J., Lomans, L., & Smolders, H. (2019). Improvement of the fish value chain in Iran: introduction of modern breeding technology, product innovation and value creation in fish and fish products: results of the fact finding and goal establishing mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran (23-29 September 2017 and 8-13 June 2019). (Wageningen Livestock Research report; No. 1219). Wageningen Livestock Research. https://doi.org/10.18174/512378