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Mr. Surber commenced his assignment as an expert to Iran on 1 August 1968. After briefing at FAO Headquarters in Rome, and three additional days of briefing at the FAO Regional Office for the Near East in Cairo, he arrived in Teheran on 16 August.

The period of 17–26 August was spent in Teheran visiting officials of the FAO and United Nations Headquarters. Dr. F. Adali arranged a meeting of the expert with H.E. Dr. A.A. Ahmadi, Under Secretary for Parliamentary and Technical Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resources, on 18 August. The expert was assigned office space in the Ministry of Natural Resources, and plans were made for an introductory field trip to Bandar Pahlavi, a principal centre of the northern fisheries in the Caspian Sea area.

A meeting was held in the Ministry in Teheran with Eng. Esfandiar Golesorkhi, Director of the Western Division of the Northern Fisheries, headquarters at Bandar Pahlavi, on 24 August.

On 27 August, the expert accompanied FAO/UNDP/TA Expert, Bjorn Andersskog, Adviser to the Northern Fisheries (Shirkat Shilat) to Bandar Pahlavi. On that date counterpart Zia Ziai was assigned to work with the expert and accompanied him on this and later field trips.

Dr. Hossein Hosseinzadeh, Chief of the Fish Science and Industry Investigations Institute, was met at Bandar Pahlavi on 27 August, shortly before his departure for Europe. He reported that Dr. Wilhelm Nümann, Director of the Governmental Institute for the Research and Lake Exploitation, Langenargen, Germany, had made four visits to Iran to investigate Iranian streams and reservoirs. 1 These investigations were followed by recommendations by Dr. Nümann for their management. Dr. Hosseinzadeh had participated in these surveys.

Eng. Golesorkhi provided the expert with an English translation of a report by Dr. Nümann of investigations on streams and reservoirs in the Caspian Sea, Teheran and Khuzestan areas.

During the next few days the expert reviewed the extensive facilities of the Northern Fisheries at Bandar Pahlavi which includes sturgeon caviar processing, inspection and classification facilities; cold storage rooms, fish smoking rooms, salting house, carpenter shops, rope and net making shops, machine shop, a museum and the Fish Science Institute.

Short field trips were made to some local streams, and a visit was made to the sturgeon and Caspian “salmon” (Salmo trutta caspius) hatchery at Bandar Pahlavi. Here, young sturgeon were being raised in circular and oval concrete ponds in water pumped from the Caspian Sea. They were fed live shrimps collected from the nearby beaches.

The hatchery for Salmo uses well water, cooled by a large cooling unit to a temperature of 7°C for incubation of eggs.

Other fishes raised there on a small scale include Sefid mahi or "whitefish" Rutilus frisii kutum, common carp or Korpur Cyprinus carpio, grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella and Sim or bream Abramis brama.

Following the return trip to Teheran, a conference was held with Dr. Ahmadi at which he suggested future trips to outlying areas to locate specific sites, preferably on Government-owned lands, where pond fish cultural stations, or village fish ponds (public fishing lakes) might be built.

The Ministry was also interested in locating sites for two fishery centres, one in the Teheran area, and one in the Caspian area. At these centres future fish culturists and fishery biologists might receive training.

The areas visited in 1968 are listed below:

  1. Caspian Sea area-Hashtpar east to Chalus. 28 September–10 October.

  2. Caspian Sea area, Chalus east to Behshahr. 19–24 October.

  3. Tabriz area. 6–13 November.

  4. Isfahan area. 23–29 November.

  5. Dusadj (Teheran province). Yengi Kand Reservoir. 2 December.

  6. Shiraz area. 14–20 December.

1 Dr. Nümann's visit was at the request of the Game and Fish Department and by mediation of the German Foreign Office and the Ministry of Agriculture. A published report by Dr. Nümann of his 10 August to 12 November 1964 visit appeared under the title “Limnologische Vorstudien zür fischereilichen Bewirtschaftung iranischer Stauseen und Fliessgewässer”. Zeitschrift für Fischeri und Deren Hilfswisseneschaften, Band XIV N.F. (1966), Heft 5/6, pp. 43 –78.

Water analyses, at least for total hardness and alkalinity were made in all of the above areas. Occasionally chlorides, conductivity, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and free carbon dioxide were determined.1

A stream bottom sampler was built according to the expert's specifications by Feradoon Farihhaff of Teheran and delivered to the Ministry of Natural Resources on 21 September. This sampler was used to demonstrate to the expert's counterpart how to collect quantitative stream bottom samples. Bottom animals were collected with this apparatus from the Shahrud above Shahbanu Farah dam at Manjil, in the Shahsavar River near Ghaleh Gardan, the Polerud near Rahimabad, the Heraz River 15.7 km below Poloor and the Lar River at Poloor.

In addition to the foregoing work, the expert at Dr. A.A. Ahmadi's request, prepared a summary of water quality criteria for the protection of fish and other aquatic life for translation into Farsi.

The expert left Teheran on 24 January 1969 for FAO Headquarters, Rome, to complete final reports. His assignment terminated 31 January 1969.

1 Glassware and chemicals for the determination of some water quality characteristics were obtained early in the field work. A DREL (Direct Reading Engineers Laboratory) field kit was obtained from the Hach Chemical Co., Ames, Iowa, in time to use on the expert's final field trip to the Shiraz area.

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