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April 3, 2013


Saudi Arabia

Has Whitespot Ended Shrimp Farming in the Kingdom?



In the March 2013 issue of World Aquaculture, the quarterly magazine of the World Aquaculture Society, M.R. Kitto, an assistant professor on the Faculty of Marine Science at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, says:


“We are witnessing the rise and apparent fall of the blue revolution with shrimp in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”  


“Presently Indian shrimp (Fenneropenaeus indicus) farming is negotiating a crucial uncertainty in the Kingdom.  Low stocking density and stricter biomass thresholds could not prevent viral diseases from wiping out shrimp crops.  The storm cloud of cryptic infections in shrimp won the game.  Three decades of global investigation into the immunity of penaeid shrimps provided no help to keep culture going?”


“Most disease cases in the Kingdom have always followed a heavy downpour of winter rain—the ultimate environmental stressor.”


“Low temperatures weaken shrimp immune system defense responses and allow White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) replication....”


The article continues with a discussion of possible disease carriers and geographical factors that have contributed to the disease problem.


Job: Apparently, not everyone in Saudi Arabia has give up on shrimp farming, as this job announcement indicates:


A 77-hectare farm in Saudi Arabia has a position open for a shrimp hatchery manager.  The hatchery currently works with the Indian white shrimp (Fenneropenaeus indicus).  When the hatchery is not operating, the manager will need to assume other roles.  Computer literacy essential.  The whitespot virus is present in the region and has affected every shrimp farm in the region over the last two or three years.


Information: Email your résumé to


Sources: 1. World Aquaculture (the quarterly magazine of the World Aquaculture Society).  Editor-in-Chief, John Hargreaves.  Can the Blue Revolution with Shrimp in Saudi Arabia Cross the Disease Chasm?  M.R. Kitto (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Marine Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80207, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia,  Volume 44, Number 1, Page 56, March 2013.  2. The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subject: Hatchery Manager Saudi.  Ecotao.geo (  April 1, 2013.


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