After Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the second largest population of the Middle East with more than 80 million people. The total area of the country is 1.65 million km2
, which includes 1.636 million km2
land area and 12,000 km2
of water surface. It has a coastline stretching for 2,700 km. To the south, it borders the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea and in the north, the Caspian Sea. Iran is mainly known for its crude oil exports, which is still the main economic activity and government revenue. Unknown to most people is that Iran is also the largest fishery producer in the region, and has a large potential as a sourcing country for aquaculture products. As the marine fishery has reached its biological limits, the Islamic Republic of Iran wants to shift from fisheries to aquaculture, the latter having increased from 1,510 tonnes in 1975 to 346,118 tonnes in 2015. The majority of this production takes place in remote southern areas of the country, where food security is an issue due to lack of infrastructure. Different types of aquaculture are practiced as a result of varying weather conditions across the country. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss
), Chinese carps (Cyprinidae
) and shrimp species (Litopenaeus vannamei
and Macrobrachium rosenbergii
) are the most common species cultured.