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October 29, 2015


Robins McIntosh on EMS and EHP


At the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, October 26–29, 2015), Robins McIntosh, a senior vice-president at CP Foods, said new measures to control early mortality syndrome (EMS) have been effective—adding that the parasite Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) may pose an even bigger threat to Thailand’s shrimp farming industry than EMS.


The biggest difference between the diseases is that EMS typically kills shrimp, while EHP causes them to grow slowly and vary in size.  McIntosh said EHP is a tiny fungus related spore that’s “very resistant to the environment and to chlorination.”


Fighting EMS was once seen as impossible, McIntosh said.  “For three years I really wondered if it could be stopped,” comparing it to the “plague” with its ability to infiltrate “biosecure” pens.


However, the discovery that EMS grows on shrimp feed, on waste and on molts led to the realization that it could be treated, not by excluding it, but by limiting its growth by installing “shrimp toilets”, deep sumps in the center of the pond to collect and trap settled wastes that can be pumped away.  “When you do that it’s like a miracle.  The shrimp stop dying,” McIntosh said.  “You have to keep the bottom clean.”


By comparison, McIntosh added, EHP requires clean, specially disinfected hatcheries, clean ponds and clean broodstock.  “This is not easy on a large scale,” McIntosh said.


Source: Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman (  CP Foods: EHP Now a Bigger Risk for Shrimp Than EMS.  Jason Smith (  October 29, 2015.

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