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June 28, 2015


Werner Jost’s Comments on Brazil Report


In response to Shrimp News’s recent special report on The History and Current Status of Shrimp Farming in Brazil, Werner Jost, Director of Camanor, a 30-year-old shrimp company in northeast Brazil that now works with "Aquascience" technology and high-density, zero-exchange, zero-discharge, biofloc production systems, reports:


I read the article about Brazil and was surprised to see that some facts were overlooked and that the article gave a false impression of the actual status of shrimp farming in Brazil.  Here’s some information on the actual shrimp farming situation in northeast Brazil:




In 2011, six states from Bahia up to the southern part of Rio Grande do Norte were hit by the whitespot virus.  Production was diminished by around 80% and currently those states have only partially recovered.  Producers lowered stocking densities to find a way out of the crises.  The strain of the virus seemed to be exceptionally virulent because it could wipe out a pond in the first 15 days of growout.  Today, the average yield fluctuates between 200 and 500 kilograms per hectare, depending on the season.  In the areas affected by whitespot, most of the bigger, vertically integrated companies have vanished.  Since 2011, whitespot has slowly moved up to northern Rio Grande do Norte.  Last month, the biggest Brazilian shrimp farm with about 1,000 hectares of ponds was hit by whitespot in an area with about 2,500 hectares of ponds.  It seems just a question of time until the disease jumps the border into the state of Ceará, currently the biggest shrimp producer in Brazil.  Ceará, even without the whitespot virus, has problems.  Depending on the season, the infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV) still takes its toll.  And for the fourth year in a row, a severe drought has created problems for shrimp farmers working in low salinity areas.  Fresh water is getting scarce and the water table in many areas is dropping.  Some farms on the coast have variations of salinity from 0 to 70 parts per thousand in the same year, which makes production difficult.


In early June 2015, Itamar Rocha, the president of the Brazilian Shrimp Association, wrote a letter to the regional development bank (Banco do Nordeste) about the disastrous whitespot situation and asked for a moratorium on the shrimp farmers’ debts.


Brazil will find a way out of its disease problems over time.  But to call it an “industry in continuous expansion” looks more like window dressing than a true picture of the production situation in northeast Brazil.


Information: Werner Jost, Director, Camanor Produtos Marinhos, Ltda, Rua José Thomas Ferreira Campos, 2155 Candelária, Natal/RN, CEP: 59.066-160, Brazil (phone 55-84-4008-0448, fax 55-84-4008-0449, email, webpage


Source: Email to Shrimp News International.  Subject: Actual Status of Shrimp Farming in Brazil.  Werner Jost.  June 27, 2015.


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