E. Woynarovich

Rome, 1985

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4.1 Artificial Propagation of Sturgeons

4.2 Artificial Propagation of Kutum (Rutilus frisii kutum)

4.3 Propagation of Common Carp and Chinese Carps

4.4 Propagation of other Fish Species










The Government of Iran, assisted by the United Nations Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is engaged in the Fisheries Development project (IRA/83(013)) whose long-term objective is to strengthen the national capability for increasing fisheries production in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. Immediate objectives are as follows:

As part of the project operation FAO assigned Professor E. Woynarovich as consultant from 4 to 23 October 1985 with the following terms of reference:


The author arrived in Rome from Budapest on 4 October 1985 for briefing, and on obtaining his visa he travelled to Teheran on the evening of 5 October. On arrival in Teheran he met Mr M. Parasnuddin, Deputy Resident Representative. UNDP and or M.H. Pournik, Programme Officer.

On 7 October the author met the Vice-Minister of Agriculture, high officials and senior experts of the inland fisheries sector.

The same day he started his journey to Bandar Anzali (360 km). Mr S.M. Yesdanparast in charge of international affairs in the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, and coordinator for the FAO fisheries project in Iran, and Mr H.J. Piroazari, coordinator of fishculture activities in the northern area, accompanied the author on all trips and discussions in Iran. Mr. B. Jalali, Director of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture also accompanied him from 12 October onwards on further trips.

In Bandar Anzali is the northern centre of Shilat Iran Iran Fisheries and Fishculture Section).

On 8 October the author visited the centre to become acquainted with the activities of the Shilat Research Centre and other sections of the Shilat in Gilan (see section 3). He met Mr Fellan, Director General, Mr Bani, Assistant Director General and Mr A.K. Sheriati, Director of the Fisheries Research Centre. Discussions were then organized with the staff involved.

In the afternoon of the 9 October the author travelled to the Beneshty fish farm 27 km from Rasht. This farm is the former sturgeon propagation station which, after the internal political changes of February 1979 was extended to include propagation of the kutum (Rutilus frisii kutum), common carp, and Chinese carps.

On 10 October he visited the Fish Propagation Centre and had discussions with the technicians there. He met Mr M.A. Akhandzadeh, Director of the Beheshty fish farm and Mr Arshad, technical adviser, and other technicians.

This was a good opportunity to visit the Siahkal kutum and carps propagation farm which is under construction 8 km from the Beneshty farm. The Siahkal farm comprises 34 ponds, each 4 ha (total 136 ha) of which 6 ponds already produced 14 million kutum fingerlings this year. He also visited the fish propagation centre of Jehad Sazandegy (rural development) (established by the Ministry of Rural Development, a new Ministry organized after the events of 1979. It is 15 km from the Beneshty Fish Propagation Centre, on the other side of Rasht.

On 11 October the author travelled to the Bahoner trout propagation farm in Klardasht, south from Chaloos, 230 km from Rasnt. On the way it was possible to observe the Caspian trout caught in a river. The trout started to migrate due to the heavy rain. At the trout propagation farm the author met Mr Mussavi, Director, and farm technicians. This farm is propagating Caspian salmon and releasing two-year-old fish into the Caspian sea, and also raising rainbow trout for distribution to growers.

In the afternoon of 12 October the author travelled to the Rajaie fish farm which has been in operation for 4 years. This farm is in Semeskanden village 12 km from the town of Sari, 200 km from the trout propagation farm. Here the author visited the farm, discussed proposed constructions and production techniques with Mr Ranghar Tanmaras, Director, and Mr M. Gashtash, Vice-Director and chief fish culturist. He then returned with Dr Jalali, Mr Yesdanparast and Mr Pirbazari to Teheran (240 km).

On 14 October the author and the above group drove to Ahvaz Khozestan 900 km from Teheran, near the Iraq border.

On 15 October they investiged the site where the Shilat is planning to construct a fish propagation centre for common carp and Chinese carps, and for local Barbus species. It is also planned to construct commercial fish farms here (see Appendix 2).

Returning to Teheran on 16 October the group visited the Karun Agroindustry Inc. Commercial fish farm at Bazargan near Shushtar. The farm is comprised of 80 ponds covering 400 ha of water surface which it is intended to extend to 1 000 ha. The production is 1.5 t/ha of marketable fish raised in polyculture. This rather low production level is mostly due to inappropriate management. For comparison purposes a 4 ha fish pond near Ahvaz produces 2–2.5 t/year without organized feeding.

In Teneran on 17 October there was a meeting with Mr Pournik in the UNDP office, and arrangements were made for the author's return to Rome. The author reported briefly about his experiences to the Vice-Minister, high officials and senior experts of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Then there was a short meeting with a representative of YECOM consulting company about fish culture questions. Later the author visited a site south of Teheran where polluted water comes out of the ground. The possibility of using this water for fish culture was discussed with members of Jehad Sazandegy. Nearby this organization has already constructed fish ponds (the salt content is rather high). The weakest points of the fish culture activity here are the management and the supply of reliable data.

On 18 October the author travelled to Rome for debriefing.


Within the Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of Fisheries (headed by Dr B. Jalali, Director) directs the Shilat.

The Shilat is divided into Shilat North and Shilat South. The author investigated the organization of the Shilat North.

The Shilat North includes not only the control of the Caspian Sea fishery - although this is its main activity - but also freshwater fish culture as well as the development of the lake and reservoir fisheries in that area.

The Shilat North has four sections:

  1. Shilat Gilan limited to the fishing in the western part of the Caspian Sea.

  2. Shilat Macandran, fishing in the eastern part of the Caspian Sea.

  3. A Fisheries Research Institute.

  4. A Fish Propagation Centre, the Beheshty Fish Farm, 27 km from Rasht.

Fishing in the Caspian Sea is organized into three groups:

  1. The Government Fishery involving (i) the capture of sturgeons (Acipenseridae family) with suitable mesh gillnets. This group is destined to making the famous Iranian caviar and (ii) capture of a small anchovy-like fish, the kilka (3 Clupiella (?) species) by light fishing and pumping out the captured fish using special fishing vessels. Kilka is used primarily for reduction into fishmeal (the Shilat has its own fishmeal plant) and for preparation as canned fish. The Shilat directs 50 such fishing bases along the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea.

  2. 58 fishery cooperative for the capture of bony fishes with 1 000 m long seines. The principle and eagerly-sought fish is the kutum (Rutilus frisii kutum, a cyprinid). Other bony fishes such as Rutilus rutilus caspius, Vimba vimba, Abramis brama, etc., are also captured.

  3. private fishermen using small mesh gillnets. The trend is to eliminate this group of fishermen because their activity is uncontrollable and they destroy many young sturgeons and other important young fish.

The most economically important fishes are the 5 Acioenser species (excellent meat and caviar), the kutum, the kilka (3 species), the Caspian salmon (Salmo trutta caspius). Artificial propagation techniques and fingerling rearing techniques are applied for the Acipenseridae, the kutum, and the Caspian sa-mon. The natural propagation of the kilka seems sufficient to maintain the stock. It is hoped to introduce the artificial and semi-artificial propagation of Lucioperca lucioperca (syn. Stizostedion lucioperca), Abramis orama and Tinca tinca to restock the fingerlings into the sea.

The Fisheries Research Institute (Director, Mr Abdul Kassem Sheriati) has four research departments with four laboratories.

  1. A biology laboratory

  2. A limnology laboratory

  3. A fishing technology laboratory

  4. A fish technology and microbiology laboratory.

Five qualified experts and 25 medium-level technicians work in this institute. Before the events of 1979, the scientific personnel of the institute comprised 20 university graduates assisted by technicians of secondary school level. The institute is now considerably undermanned.

The institute has the following activities: fish breeding, fish stock assessment (overfishing problems), limnology, biology of Caspian fishes and other organisms, fishing technology problems, fish processing.

The microbiology laboratory works on the quality control of caviar from the microbiological point of view, fish, pathology, parasitology, sewage investigations (the effects of poisonous metals).

The author makes recommendations to improve the present activities of the institute in Section 9.

The author had the opportunity of seeing the Anzali lagoon. Orginally covering 22 000 ha, this lagoon was formerly a very important fishing area, but with the sinking of the Caspian Sea plus siltation and pollution problems, the lagoon lost its importance as a spawning, breeding and fishing ground. It now covers 8 000 – 9 000 ha of open water infested with underwater and floating weeds. The greater part of the lagoon is swampy or already semi-dried land.

Rehabilitation of the lagoon has been initiated by the ministry of Rural Development (Jehad Sazandegy). This involves excavation of canals, filling the marshy land, construction of fish ponds for fingerling rearing stocking with grass carp and silver carp fingerlings.



The Caspian species of the Archipenseridae family sturgeons) live in the sea but spawn in the great rivers. Only one such river exists in the Iranian part of the Caspian Sea, the Shefidrud (Shefid river), which is a protected area where the broodfish are captured during the migration season.

The author considers that the technology applied has proved satisfactory for many years. The equipment and installations are suitable to achieve the goals of the propagation centre. The losses are: 20% during egg incubation; 30–40% during larvae and early fry rearing in round cement-concrete tanks; 30–40% fingerling rearing in earthen ponds of 2 ha surface. The survival rate of the eggs until they reach the 2-month old fingerling stage is about 30–35%.

The catch of sturgeons, about 2 000 t/year, is stable. The stock shows a tendency to increase. Due to the exceptionally great care given to this sector of fishing, there appears to be no overfishing. Together with the increase of the sturgeon stock it is hoped to increase catches in the future. In 1985, 1.2 million sturgeon fingerlings of different species were released into the sea.

4.2 ARTIFICIAL PROPAGATION OF KUTUM (Rutilus frisii kutum)

This plancton-feeder cyprinid lives in brackish seawater but spawns in the inflowing smaller rivers. Such rivers are mainly on the western coast of the Caspian Sea near to the town Bandar Anzali. The stock assessment of this fish shows signs of overfishing. This fish fetches the highest prices.

The author considers that it would be worthwhile to improve some phases of the applied artificial propagation technology.

This technology is as follows: shortly before spawning, members of the Shilat construct temporary cross closures from wooden tripods and twigs in the chosen rivers. The closure blocks the migrating kutum schools. The fish, ready for spawning, are captured here and the ripe ones stripped. Kutum eggs are relatively adhesive. The “dry eggs” are mixed with sperm and fertilized by adding water to the egg mass, and then stirred thoroughly. The adhesive layer is washed away with water and continuous stirring. When the eggs are totally separated from each other they were formerly put into incubator boxes and now into incubator jars. Egg development is rather long depending on the temperature of the through-flowing water. It takes a minimum of seven days. On the other hand larval development is brief, 1–2 days. According to present technology the larvae which have just started feeding (post-larvae) are fed with a mixture of milk and eggs until they are 5 days old, and then put into the rearing ponds. The two month-old fingerlings are 1–2 g in weight; at this size they are released into the sea. In 1985 it is recorded that 38 million kutum fingerlings were released into the Caspian Sea.


The applied propagation technique of common carp is natural propagation in Dubisch ponds and artificial propagation is described by E. Woynarovich and L. Horvath in FAO Technical Paper No. T 201. The artificial propagation of warmwater finfishes: a manual for extension, 1980, 183 p. (This was translated into Parsi, the Iranian langugage.) They use the technique described for artificial propagation for Chinese carps with mixed results.


Populations of certain fish species in the Caspian Sea decreased considerably, for example, Lucioperca, Tinca, Abramis brama, Silurus, etc. The author was requested to supply literature on artificial or semi-artificial propagation of the above-mentioned species.


The Iranian inland fishery and fishculture were developed after the political changes of 1979. This development has been very rapid and impressive. The Shilat and Jehad Sazandegy are making great efforts to improve fish production in Iran as quickly as possible.

Fish fingerlings for polyculture in appropriate quantities were and could be produced by five Shilat propagation centres and one Jehad fish propagation centre.

These fish propagation centres are:

5.1 The Beheshty fish farm 27 km from Rasht. There are 36 fish rearing ponds of 2 ha each (72 ha + 4 ha reservoir) and some newly constructed small ponds for keeping the broodfish stock.

The Siahkah kutum and carp propagation farm (7 km away) is well under construction; this includes 34 rearing ponds of 4 ha each (136 ha + 7 reservoirs about 5 + 5 ha). The author did not see on the plan of the farm the smaller ponds of 2 000–3 000 m each in which to keep the broodfishes (6–10 ponds of this type would be necessary). The Beheshty hatchery has an adequate number of different sized incubator jars although their filter (which should not allow the washing out and escape of eggs and larvae) is not functioning well and is difficult to clean. The same comment applies to all the filters observed in the hatcheries visited.

5.2 The Rajaie fish farm, 12 km from Sari (Semeskandeh village), has been operating for four years, and propagates common and Chinese carps. The farm consists of: 9 ponds of 3 ha each, 17 ponds of 1–2 ha each; and on a 6 ha-area 200 small ponds (planned as 300 m each) are under construction. This type of pond is too small for rearing fingerlings on a commercial scale as it is difficult to handle and crop. It has already been decided to convert these ponds into 600–1 000 m in size by removing the dividing dikes.

In 1985 the fingerling production of these two farms was 8–9 million of common and Chinese carp fingerlings. These fingerlings were distributed among fish farmers and stocked in lakes and reservoirs. The production of kutum fingerlings (38 million), and sturgeon fingerlings (1.2 million) for release into the Caspian Sea has already been mentioned.

5.3 The fish farm (fish propagation centre) near Shiraz is still under construction and was not visited by the author.

5.4 The fish propagation centre near Isfahan is in an advanced state of planning.

5.5 The centre in Khozestan (near Ahvaz) is not yet started. (the author makes brief comments concerning this centre in Appendix 2.)

Four years ago the Shilat constructed a trout propagation centre in Klardasht near to the town of Chaloos.

One fish propagating centre (15 km from Rasht) operated by the Jehad Sazandegy is producing common and Chinese carp fingerlings. However, the centre has not yet reached the required production level.

At present about 4 000 ha of fish ponds are in operation. The Shilat also undertakes the stocking of some 300 000 ha of rivers, lakes and reservoirs. The fish pond area should be increased to 15 000–20 000 ha in the near future. The production of the existing fish ponds at present is between 2–3 t/year/ha. The main aim of the Shilat, in addition to extending the culture area, is to raise the production level by more effective management; pond management seems to be the weak point of the Iranian fishculture development.

The author collected information and impressions on the applied fish propagation techniques, which basically seemed appropriate but in need of certain improvements.

The supply to the centres of acetone-dried common carp hypophysis (pituitary) glands has been adequately solved. In this respect the Iranian fishery is totally self-supplying.

The feed problem in the propagation centres should be solved in the future. The Shilat is operating a new fishmeal factory in Bandar Anzali, which reduces into fishmeal the offals of the Caspian fishing industry and the superfluous kilka catch. Soymeal is also relatively cheap in Iran and the Shilat goes not operate a feed-pelletting plant at the present time.

Cheap feed for commercial fish production is one of the main bottlenecks of fish culture development. Appropriate use of the limited feed resources should be the theme of an extension course for technicians.

The author was assured that there is enough manure and fertilizer for the commercial fish farm and this seems to be so.


The author recommends the following curriculum for the proposed training programme aimed at the improvement of pond management and extension work.

  1. The water as the dwelling place of the fish (10 hours of theory and five hours of practical work);

    1. Physical properties of the water (freshwater) -

      temperature, specific weight, light in the pond as energy source for photosynthesis, transparency, turbidity, colour, dissolved gases, oxygen, nitrogen, other gases

    2. Chemical characteristics of the water -

      dissolved salts, anions and cations in the water, conductivity and pH, microelements

  2. The water environment (10 hours of theory and 10 hours of practical work);

    1. Dwelling places in the fish ponds -

      shore area, water column (open water), bottom

    2. The most important water organisms -

      bacteria, algae (groups of algae), higher water plants, submerged, floating, and emerging water plants; their biological role in production; one-cell animals, rotifers, crustaceans, molluses, water insects, vertibrates other than fish

    3. Production processes in the fish pond (10 hours of theory and 5 hours of practical work)

      The role of different water organisms in the production process -

      production of the algae, photosynthesis (primary production or construction of the organic material in the pond). Limitation of the primary production. Light and basic materials and nutrients

      the role of the water animals from the production point of view (secondary production or the accumulation of living organic matter); accumulation (i) in the body of offsprings and (ii) in own body by increase in weight

      the role of bacteria in the production process; decomposition; the recuperation process

      production levels, food pyramid, food chain, food web

    4. The role of fish in the production processes; fish meat production

  3. Economically important fish (10 hours of theory and five hours of practical work

    characteristics, the need for a healthy life, respiration, oxygen consumption, natural food, different feeds for different fishes; utilization of the food, survival, growth; summary of types of propagation

  4. Fishculture (8 hours of theory and 8 hours of practical work

    1. concepts regarding the production of economically and biologically important fish

    2. where to establish fish ponds, fish farms: water requirements; soil; infrastructure; others; fish pond, fish farm, fish propagation centre

    3. the structure of the fish pond, fish farm; feeding and draining canal, inlet/outlet structures, monks, sluicegate, other structures; the role of the structure in fish production

    4. types of fish ponds

  5. Fishculture systems (5 hours of theory)

    1. monoculture, biculture, polyculture (synergetic effects of the fishes)

    2. extensive, semi-intensive, intensive or traditional fishculture; superintensive fishculture (fishculture in cages, raceways, etc.); advantages and disadvantages of the fishculture system)

  6. Fish meat production by traditional fishculture; the main activities of traditional (intensive) fishculture (30 hours of theory and 20 hours of practical work)

    1. inundation of the pond, keeping away unwanted fishes; the time of inundation

    2. stocking of the ponds; theoretcal and practical background of the stocking; calculations of the stocking; losses; practical solutions of the stocking

    3. the production, increasing management measures in the fish ponds; manuring and fertilizing, manures and fertilizers used in fishculture; theoretical explanations, practical solutions of the use of manures and/or fertilizers

    4. feeding of the fish: digestion of natural food and artificial feed; the feed materials used -grains, meals, agro-industrial byproducts; the chemical composition of the different feeds, the needs of fishes (protein, vitamins, minerals); surrogate feeds and full value feeds (pellets); conversion rates of different feeds; economic considerations of the feeding; feeding practices; preparation of feeds, distribution of feeds in the pond; control measures

  7. Growth check on the fishes (5 hours of theory and 10 hours of practical work)

    practical execution calculations

  8. cropping of the fish pond and fish transport (10 hours of theory and 5 hours of practical work)

    1. when to crop? partial cropping, total cropping; equipment and tools for cropping; planning of the cropping; practical execution

    2. transport of the fishes; theoretical consideration of fish transport; short and long distance transport; transport of fish fingerlings, breeders; particular requirements for transporting fish eggs and larvae

  9. brief review of fish propagation (15 hours of theory and 15 hours of practical work)

    1. sites and types of natural propagation; artifical propagation; readiness for artificial or natural propagation; execution of artificial propagation; incubation of the eggs, rearing of fish larvae, rearing of fingerlings

    2. organization of the fish propagation centres

  10. brief introduction into the economics of fishculture (5 hours of theory and 5 hours of practical work)

The total number of hours required are: 113 hours of theory and 88 hours of practical work. Some 10–20 hours should be reserved for discussion and/or repetition.

The course should last six weeks, calculating 6 working days per week. Each working day will consist of three hours of theory and 2–3 hours of practical work.


The Iranian graduate personnel working in the field of fish-culture acquired their knowledge of fisheries in different countries and from vastly differing sources. The medium-level technicians (who would become the persons in charge of extension work) have scarce theoretical knowledge in fishculture practices; and even if they are acquainted with fishculture, in most cases they lack the biological background.

The aims of the planned course would be:

The venue of the course could be the Beheshty fish farm near Rasht where most of the facilities are available for both theoretical lectures and practical work (lecture room, catering, accommodation). The Director of the farm is in agreement.

The number of trainees (participants) could be at the most 40 persons provided that discipline were maintained among the trainees, especially during the practical work.

The proposed period of the course could be in July and/or in August (Ramadam terminates on 29 June in 1986). The personnel of the fish propagation centres are engaged and occupied in urgent fish propagation activities in the spring. They could not be diverted from that activity without harm to the year's fingerling production. No fishery activity can take place in winter in northern Iran.

Given the proposed pluridisciplinary nature of the course, it should last at least 6 weeks. The proposed curriculum was prepared to cover such a period and the curriculum described was discussed with the persons who travelled with the author (see Section 2).

If the FAO Operations staff consider it appropriate that an international expert participate in such a course as a lecturer, the author would be willing to accept such a role.

As some of the trainees do not understand English, two interpreters in English/Farsi would be required.


(in US$)

Slide projector of good quality
Slides available from FAO
Slides to support the lectures (to be provided by lecturers)
40 pc plancton net (mesh 60 microns) type used in fish pondsabout 10–15 each
40 pc magnifying glasses (10X–20X) for investigation of living planctonabout 5–10 each
40 pairs of Petri discsless than 1 each
10 Secchi discs used for fish pondsabout 10 each
20 water thermometers (0–50° C)?
40 test tubes with ground glass stopper 25 cm3 (for oxygen estimation)about 3–4 each
250 g manganese chloride MnC12 (pro anal.) 
250 g sodium hydroxide NaOH (in pellets)
100 g potassium iodide (KI) crystal 
500 g phosphoric acid (or similar acid) 
(All chemicals for dissolved oxygen measurement).


  1. A fish culture training course should be arranged for graduates and advanced technicians (sections 6–7) to be held in July-August 1986.

  2. Further technical assistance should be provided for the reclamation of the Anzali lagoon and the Gorgan lagoon.

  3. Available technical literature should be sent to the Shilat Research Centre to assist the development of the Caspian Sea fisheries.

  4. The Shilat Research Centre should be assisted through fellowships in the fields of limnology, hydrochemistry, fish pathology, and general fish biology.

  5. The Jehad Sazandegy Setad Markazi Farang Sa. Rasht Iran should be added to the FAO mailing list of the Fisheries Department for literature regarding fishculture and rural development.

Appendix 1


Travel Rome - Teheran

Meeting with Vice-Minister of Fisheries, high officials and senior experts

Start of journey to Anzali port

Visit to Shilat research centre, observation of activities and discussion with experts

Visit to the Beheshty fish farm and discussion with experts

Visit to the Bahoner fish farm and discussion with experts

Visit to the Rajaie fish farm and discussion with experts

Return to Teheran for meeting and discussions

Journey to Khozestan to visit the areas to be utilized by the Shilat for fish farming

In Teheran: meeting with YEKOM consulting company and brief report to Vice-Minister of fisheries

Travel Teheran - Rome

Appendix 2


The author had the opportunity of investigating the site of the fifth hatchery and breeding centre of the Shilat in Khozestan. The planned area is about 35 km southsouthwest from the town of Ahvaz 600 m from the river Karun. The area at the disposal for fish farm construction is about 1 000 ha on which it is planned to construct ponds (inundated area) covering about 650 ha.

The water for fish pond utilization should be pumped from the river Karun. According to the information available, 7 m water is available in winter and 4 m in summer.

The site of the planned fish farm is between Beyuz village and the road Ahvaz-Korramshar. It is a quite deep-laying area which in the main becomes covered with 10–20 cm deep water after the rain. At present it is filled with the stubble of the cropped water plant Tipha sp.

Available data for the area

  1. The water mass of the river Karun is 6 7003 m /sec maximum and 133 m3/sec minimum. (During the author's visit it was the low water period.) River water is used for irrigation purposes in the nearby area.

  2. Rainfall is 251 mm/year (60 years average).

  3. Temperature is 54°C and -4°C minimum but temperatures below zero are very rare. The annual average temperature is about 27°C. The possible minimum temperature of pond water could be estimated as 18°–20°C in winter.

  4. Evaporation averages 3 159 mm/year which is equal to an average 8.7 mm/day, although in the driest season 25–30 mm daily evaporation could be expected and in other seasons 10–20 mm may include evaporation through percolation into the soil. This means 10 mm water loss (evaporation and percolation); 10 1 water/m2 or 100 m2 /ha.

  5. The soil is clayey-silt - suitable for dam construction and fish ponds.

  6. Electricity is available in the area.

  7. The infrastructure is suitable and there is a good paved main road on the side of the planned area.

  8. The fish fauna of the river is mostly cyprinids (Barbus species), and Gambusia is frequent in the canals. The fish fauna is most probably similar to that of the river Tigris. In the river lives a small shrimp about 1–1.5 cm in length (Caridina sp. ?). This implies that the water for the hatchery unit and post-larvae rearing ponds should be filtered with stone-chip or pebble wall filters.

  9. The adequacy of the area in question for agriculture use: the planned area is for the most part unsuitable for intensive agriculture because standing shallow water covers it after rain for a long time.

The author advises separating the fish farm utilization into two parts:

  1. hatchery and fish seed rearing which should be extended over about 70–80 ha of pond area.

  2. commercial fish ponds (farms?) of about 570 ha.

The two parts should be separated as far as water supply, drainage, administration, budget, etc., are concerned.

The hatchery and fish seed rearing part (centre) should cover the artificial propagation of the four cyprinid species, common carp (scaly carp), silver carp, grass carp and bighead carp. In addition, some commercially species of Barbus could be propagated here as they are useful for stocking lakes, reservoirs, etc.

To supply the hatchery house (laboratory for fish propagation) continuously with about 15 1/sec water the author advises to construct a 10 × -10 × 1.5 m cement-concrete overhead tank which has an approximately 1 m deep usable water column and 0.5 m for sedimentation. The outflow pipe of the tank (4–5 inch pipe) should be 2 m above the floor level of the hatchery house. The aim of the overhead tank is a. sedimentation, b. filtering, c. water supply during electricity fallout or pump breakdown.

The hatchery should have 6 “twin” basins (tanks) (2.8–3 × 1–1.1 × 0.8–1 m size) for the injected and stripped breeders. Out of the propagation season they could be used for fingerling conditioning of storage. In the same part of the laboratory a space about 2 m wide should be set aside for the fertilization, handling and treatment of the eggs.

The incubator part (hall) of the hatchery should include 80–100 small (8–20 1), 40 medium (60–70 1), and 40 big (160–200 1) appropriate type incubators. It is advisable to install here incubators with easily changeable filters because of the probably higher colloid content of the hatchery water.

The hatchery should apply the most advanced artificial propagation techniques.

The earthen ponds of the hatchery and fish seed rearing part should be of three types:

  1. Ponds for breeders: The author advises the construction of 10 such ponds with 1.5 m average depth and 2 000–3 000 m size (25–30 × 80–100 m). This elongated form allows easy capture (netting) of the breeders shortly after the artificial propagation processes. Of these ponds 4 are reserved for common carp females (for 1 kg body weight about 102 m2 pond surface is calculated), 2 for common carp males (for 1 kg body weight about 7 m2 pond surface) and 4 ponds for the Chinese major carp breeders. Segregation of the sexes is not necessary. It is also advisable to construct 4–5 small 300–400 m2 “operation” and “recreation” ponds. Near to the hatchery house the conditioning tanks (3–4 ×1 × 1 m) should be situated for acclimatizing the fingerlings before transport. About 4–6 of this type of cement concrete tanks are needed.

  2. Post-larvae rearing ponds: As the land is available and in most cases the lack of ponds is the bottleneck (limiting factor) for fish seed production, the author recommends the construction of 20 ponds of 0.5 ha each and 20 ponds of 1 ha each. All ponds should be of elongated shape about 50 × 100 m and 70 × 145 m respectively. For all ponds a common (joint) cropping pit should be made of cement concrete or brick with cement plastering. This cropping pit is for the easy capture of the sensitive fingerlings.

  3. Ponds for rearing bigger fingerlings: Since bigger fingerlings are also needed here and land is available, the author advises to construct 10 fingerling rearing ponds for polyculture rearing of fingerlings of about 4 ha each, also of elongated shape 160 × 250 m or 150 × 300 m, with a joint bigger cropping pit, one for every two ponds.

It is most probable that the common carp (and perhaps the grass carp) could be propagated twice yearly. The number of breeders could be about 400 common carp, 200–300 grass carp, 200–300 silver carp, and 100–150 bighead carp; sex ratio 1:1.

The fingerling production could be planned here at 50–100 million one-month old fingerlings (2.5–3.5 cm total length) per year. The fingerling production depends on the expertise of the personnel, management, demand, feed, manure, etc. The surplus production could be stocked into the dams and lakes of the area.

The hatchery and fish seed production part (unit) should be independent from the commercial fish farm part which would be spread over about 570 ha of water surface.

The author also recommends the construction of a “fan” type pond arrangement system. Here, 3–4 ponds have a common cropping pond which is 1 m deeper then the ponds. The water inflow is from the deepest part of the ponds near to the draining sluice gate. This system had good results in Hungary. Here the level land allows the construction of such a system. The cropping pond (also of elongated shape) with a good water supply, could be used for brief storage of living fish. The most sensitive silver carp run first into the cropping pond and could be captured here alive. The cropping pond could be paved and installed with fish elevator net pulleys, etc., to save working power.

The size of the production ponds could be between 10 and 25 ha each, but not bigger than 50 ha.

The detailed plan of the fish pond could be made after the level (geodeta) work is finished on the area.


This area is about 70 km from the above-mentioned site in the direction of Korramshar town on the side of Shirdam canal. This artificial canal is constructed (not yet finished) between the Horalazim and Karun river.

The area is salty (gypsum) desert. If the water supply of a commercial fish farm could be solved throughout the year and more details were known about the soil, a fish farm could be established here as well. Most probably the salt content of the water will be rather high (8–10 per mille), 8–10 g/l at the beginning of fish farming, but adequate fishculture helps to wash out the salt content of the soil in time.

Little information about the water, soil, salt contents, etc., exists regarding the area at present. Naturally such a farm near to a town as big as Korramshar could provide a most suitable protein supply for the town-dwellers.

The superintensive cage culture of fish in Khozestan has already been mentioned, but this type of fishculture should be excluded, because the basic conditions for that type of fishculture do not exist here, i.e., the water and place for cages, sufficient deep water (at least 4–6 m deep) for keeping the cages, full valued artificial feed with minimum 40% protein and further adequate vitamin and mineral content. As about 1.5–1.8 kg of such feed produces only 1 kg of fish meat, the economy of such a type of fish meat production is questionable. At present the basic expertise is lacking.

Appendix 3



PROJECT TITLE:Training Course: Freshwater Fish Culture and Rural Extension



Ministry of Agriculture ‘Shilat’ Department of Fisheries


(on behalf of the Government)(on behalf of FAO)

DATE OF SIGNATURE:...............

DATE OF SIGNATURE:.............


The stable development of the freshwater fish culture is one of the priority goals of the Ministry of Agriculture of Iran. To achieve that goal the Ministry of Agriculture under the “Shilat” governmental organization constructed and/or extended five fish hatcheries and fish seed distributing centres after the political events of February 1979; these are: Rasht, Shari, Shiraz (under construction), Isfahan (under advanced planning), Ahvas (not yet started). The new ministry, Jehad Sazandegy (responsible for rural development) also established one medium size hatchery near Rasht. At present 4 000 ha fish ponds are producing fish for marketing in Iran. The further aim in the near future is to increase this area up to 15 000–20 000 ha pond surface. This impressive development of inland fish culture needs senior personnel, medium level technicians and lower level farm workers with basic knowledge in fish culture practice and theory.

The Iranian graduates working in the field of fish culture received their education in various countries and from very different sources. The main constraint to fish culture development at present is the lack of knowledge of the theoretical background of modern fish culture practices. The different areas, means and environmental and ecological possibilities of Iran demand different solutions in fish culture practice which cannot be solved without basic theoretical and practical knowledge.

Since the culture of common carp and Chinese major carps (grass carp, silver carp, bighead carp) is widespread in Iran, this offers the possibility of higher production levels. The fertilizer, manure and feeds necessary to increase production in the country are not unlimited, and these must be effectively utilized.

The main goals of the planned course are:


To organize and execute a six week freshwater fish culture course in the Beheshty fish farm (near Rasht), in July-August 1986. The maximum number of participants will be 40.


The Shilat will select the trainees, nominate the Director of the course, assistants and interpreters.

At the end of the course the Shilat will issue certificates to the successful participants.


Personnel (a) One consultant lecturer with good theoretical and practical knowledge of international practice of freshwater fish culture. Duration 2 months. Duty Station Rasht.

(b) One consultant lecturer with a good practical knowledge of the rural extension methodology applied to fish culture. Duration 10 days. Duty Station Rasht.

Supplies and EquipmentUS$
1 portable filmstrip projector 12 V/220 V120
1 slide projector, automatic, 220 V160
40 pc plancton net 60 micron mesh 600
40 pc magnifying glasses (10 × – 20 ×)300
40 pairs of Petri discs50
40 water thermometers, 0–50 C.500
10 pc Secchi discs
40 test tubes with ground glass stopper
250 g magnesium chloride
250 g sodium hydroxide
100 g potassium iodide
500 g phosphoric acid100
small plastic tools40
transport air as excess baggage (20 kg)150
Total2 120


At the end of the course the FAO consultant will prepare a Terminal Statement and compile a report on the training course with recommendations for further action.




PROJECT TITLE:Training Course in Freshwater fishculture and rural extension

 Total (US$)
10. Personnel (a) Consultant 2 month20 000
(b) Consultant 15 days
40. General operating expenses3 000
50. Supplies and materials2 120
Total25 120

Annex 1 to Appendix 3


1. Water as a habitat for fish

1.1 Physical properties of fresh water. General properties, temperature, density, specific weight, light penetration, transparency, turbidity, colour, currents, movements. The water as dissolvent. Gases dissolved in the water: oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, other gases: methane, hydrogensulfite, ammonia.

1.2 The chemical properties of freshwater. Disolved (ionized) minerals: Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cl, SO4, HCO3, nitrogen and phosphate compounds, pH, conductivity, numic acids, microelements (10 theoretical and 5 practical hours).

2. Water as an environment

2.1 Living places in the fish ponds. Shore area, water column (open water), bottom.

2.2 The most important water organisms. (What is the difference between water, land and semi-aquatic organisms.) The group of water organisms: bacteria, algae, higher plants (submerging, floating, emerging water plants). Animals, rotifers, worms, crustaceans, insects, molluscs, vertebrates other than fish (5 theoretical and 5 practical hours).

3. The production process in fish ponds

3.1 The role of the different organism groups, primary production or construction of organic material, photosynthesis. Secondary production or accumulation. Accumulation of the organic material a) in the body of offspring; b) in own body. Decomposition, recuperation activity of certain animals.

3.2 Production level, food pyramid, food chain, food web.

3.3 The role of fish in the production process. Fish meat production (8 theoretical and 5 practical hours).

4. The economically important fish

4.1 Characteristics of the fishes. The necessary conditions for healthy life. Respiration - oxygen consumption. Food and feeding types. Utilization of the food, maintenance of life, growth. Propagation of types of fish.

4.2 Economical production of biologically important fishes.

4.3 The main conditions of the cultured fishes (8 theoretical and 8 practical hours).

5. The fish pond and fish farm

5.1 Where to establish fish ponds and/or fish farm, a) Water need, b) soil, c) market, d) infrastructure, e) others.

5.2 Fish pond, fish farm, fish propagation centre. Barrage ponds, contour ponds, paddy ponds, undrainable (excavated) ponds.

5.3 Structures of the fish pond. Dike, feeding, draining canals, harvesting pit. Inlet, outlet (monk, sluice gate) spillway, simple barrage (5 theoretical and 5 practical hours).

6. Fish culture systems

6.1 Monoculture, biculture, polyculture, synergetic effects of the fish.

6.2 Extensive, semi-intensive, intensive fish culture. Cage culture and pen culture (5 theoretical hours).

7. Fish production by semi-intensive fish culture

7.1 Inundation of the ponds. Protection from unwanted fishes. Time of inundation.

7.2 Stocking of the ponds. Theoretical and practical background of stocking. Calculations of stocking. The loss (calculated). Practical solutions of the stocking.

7.3 Production increasing measures. Fertilizing and manuring of ponds. Fertilizers and manures. Theoretical explanation and practical solutions of use of manures and fertilizers. Different solutions of manuring and fertilizing. Economical considerations. Utilization of the manures in the fish pond environment. Integrated farming of fish-duck, poultry, etc. in manure production.

7.4 Feeding of the fish. Types of fish food, natural food (main food, secondary food, occasional food). Chemical composition of the natural fish foods. Protein and energy content, vitamins, minerals, supplementary feeds of fishes. Grains, meals, grain byproducts, by-products of the agro-industry, oil cakes, tomato, offals, etc. Physiologically full valued feed mixtures (pelleted feed). The utilizatin of the feeds, maintenance food, accumulating feed (for growth and storing). Feed conversion ratio (rate). The ratio between the natural food and supplementary feed. The capacity of the fish, digestion. temperature, appetite and digestion. The practice of feeding, preparation of the feeds, distribution of the feeds. Control of consumption.

7.5 Growth check-up of the fishes. Practical execution and calculations.

7.6 The cropping of the ponds. When to crop. Partial cropping, total cropping. The equipment and tools of cropping. Planning of the cropping. Practical execution.

7.7 Transport of fishes. Theoretical consideration of the fish transport. Short and long distance transport. Type of fish transport. Transport of fish fingerlings, breeders, market fish. Special transport of fish eggs and larvae (40 theoretical and 35 practical hours).

8. Fish propagation

8.1 The hereditary parental care concept of fishes.

8.2 The sites, types and time of the natural propagation. Active and passive parental care of offspring.

8.3 The readiness for natural or artificial propagation. The phases of the egg (ovary) development. Keeping the breeder stock for improving the ovarial development. The execution of artificial and semi-artificial propagation.

8.4 Fertilization and treatment of eggs, incubation, larvae rearing, post-larvae rearing.

8.5 The organization of the fish propagation centres (15 theoretical and 20 practical hours).

9. Simple economics of fish culture

(5 theoretical and 5 practical hours)

10. Rural extension of fish culture

(15 theoretical and 35 practical hours)

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