Seabass larvae feeding on ArtemiaResearch on the brine shrimp Artemia and its use in aquaculture started at the Ghent State University in 1970 in the Laboratory of Ecology (Director Prof. Dr. em. Jan Hublé) and further expanded as of 1972 in the Laboratory of Mariculture (Director Prof. Dr. G. Persoone). The Artemia Reference Center (ARC), set up as a section of the Laboratory of Mariculture in 1978 and coordinated by Dr. P. Sorgeloos, became an independent Research Center of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (now: Faculty of Bioscience Engineering) in 1985 with the Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. ir. F. Pauwels as its Administrative Director. In view of an expansion of research and training activities the name "Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center (ARC)" was adopted in 1989. In 1990, Prof. Dr. P. Sorgeloos was officially appointed as laboratory director.

Artemia hatchingSince 1978 the Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center has gained a leading role in research on larviculture of fish and shellfish. Initially, the main research effort focussed on the universally used brine shrimp Artemia as vital food source for fish and shellfish larvae, namely: brine shrimp culturing biology, natural occurrence, production techniques, strain characterisation, nutritional value and enrichment. Gradually, research activities extended into other live food organisms, micro algae and rotifers, i.e. their production and nutritional manipulation, with main emphasis on lipids and vitamins C and E. Meanwhile, the worldwide industrialisation of larviculture demanded more thorough research on the zootechnical, microbiological and immunological aspects of larviculture. Therefore, the ARC engaged in a multidisciplinary collaboration effort with specialists from different research institutes, local and abroad, in the framework of nationally and internationally funded R&D projects. In that context, the ARC also supported the establishment of the UGent Aquaculture R&D Consortium which groups 13 departments from 3 faculties.