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October 30, 2015


Hopeful, Despite Disease


In 2014, India exported over 301,000 metric tons of giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and white shrimp (P. vannamei), primarily to the United States.


In March 2015, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India reported that just 8.5 percent of the country’s brackish water was being utilized for shrimp farming.  Combined with a shift from tiger shrimp to the faster growing white shrimp, the Association predicted that exports could increase to $17 billion by 2017, representing a huge increase from the $3.21 billion exported in 2014.


In October 2015, however, India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority announced the spread of a microsporidian (a parasitic fungus) Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) on shrimp farms throughout the country.  The fungus does not appear to be directly fatal, but it does severely slow growth by infecting the hepatopancreas, limiting the amount of nutrition the infected individual receives from feed, which can lead to starvation.  Hence, The Society of Aquaculture Professionals in Chennai predicts that the total production of India’s farmed shrimp will decline 10 to 20 percent in 2015.


Furthermore, the Seafood Exporters Association of India has noted that USA demand for shrimp has somewhat stagnated.  This reduction in demand has reduced shrimp prices, leading to a predicted 20 to 30 percent decline in the value of India’s exports in 2015.


Source: The FishSite.  India’s Shrimp Aquaculture Industry Remains Hopeful Despite Onset of Disease.  Sam Andrews.  October 30, 2015.

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