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November 5, 2013


No Quick Recovery in 2014


This year (2013), the fourth year of losses to early mortality syndrome (EMS), has been the worst year yet for shrimp farmers in Guangxi (an autonomous region in southern China), Hainan (an island province off the coast of Guangxi), the Pearl River Delta (in Guangdong Province), and Zhanjiang (a city in Guangdong Province).  Erratic weather—especially heavy rains from typhoons—has played a role in the problems, and many farms are experiencing mortalities of 80% or more.  Over 80% of the shrimp farmers in Zhanjiang have suffered losses.


Feed sales have dropped 30% to 40%, which has stressed the feed manufacturers that extend credit to farmers.


Because of the lack of money and the high risks, many shrimp farmers did not stock a second crop in 2013.


Broodstock is a possible cause of the disease problem.  With lack of funds, some farmers use lower quality broodstock or try to overcompensate for their losses with higher stocking densities—both of which make the problem worse.  There has also been a deterioration in water quality.


Some think that the excessive use of antibiotics may have encouraged a more resistant strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, the bacterium that causes EMS.


All these factors suggest that a quick recovery in the spring of 2014 remains highly unlikely.  Instead China’s southern shrimp production will likely continue to be depressed, with many sectors of the industry overextended and financially exposed.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  South China Shrimp Industry Continues to Reel; in Weak Position Going Into Chinese New Year.  November 4, 2013.

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