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March 13, 2014

United States

Missouri—GAA’s Case Study of EMS


The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is spearheading a case study to identify the shrimp-farming practices that prevent the manifestation of early mortality syndrome (EMS), also known as acute hepatopancreatic necrosis.  The case study will act as a foundation for recommendations to the aquaculture community for better shrimp-farming practices.


The heart of the case study will be comprehensive survey of shrimp farms in six countries in Asia and Latin America that consistently achieve good results even though neighboring farms are impaired by EMS.  The survey results will be entered into a database from which hypotheses will be formulated regarding the proper management of EMS.  The hypotheses will then be tested in the field.


The survey results will also be summarized in a report and presented at GAA’s GOAL 2014 conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in October 2014


The hope is that identifying the common denominators of proper management will lead to the adoption of better shrimp farming practices.  EMS, which first emerged in China in 2009, is costing the industry in excess of $1 billion annually.


The project is being supported primarily by ALLFISH, a World Bank public-private partnership organized by the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations, in the form of a $100,000 grant.  The Seafood Industry Research Fund is also supporting the project.


“In order to properly address this disease, aquaculture’s leading researchers will come together in March to design a survey of farms across the entire range of the disease to determine best practices for managing EMS,” said GAA President George Chamberlain.


The project’s first step will be to establish a committee of about ten international experts, who will analyze the survey results and formulate the hypotheses for further testing.  This committee is currently being assembled and will convene in Vietnam in late March 2014.  A checklist for the survey will be developed to assure consistency in evaluation of pond management methods.  Qualified auditors will then be dispatched to shrimp farms in China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Mexico and India—particularly in areas greatly affected by EMS—to gather survey data.


GAA will address EMS and other topics at its Mini-GOAL Seminar at Seafood Expo North America (formerly the International Boston Seafood Show), on Monday, March 17, 2014.  Drop by GAA’s booth No. 481 at Seafood Expo North America for more information.


Source:  Global Aquaculture Alliance Spearheads Case Study on Early Mortality Syndrome.  March 11, 2014.

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