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January 6, 2015

The World

No Quick Recovery in Global Shrimp Production

 

Dr. Stephen Newman (sgnewm@aqua-in-tech.com) reports: Despite the fact that I’ve been saying it for many months, shrimp production is not likely to recover to the levels of a few years ago any time soon.  It seems that all too many people are still not getting the message.  Disease is a fact of life!

 

This is a partly a result of production paradigms that ignore time-honored biosecurity measures and long-term sustainable production and instead concentrate on short-term gains.

 

Shrimp farmers in Southeast Asia are wracked by several diseases.  Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) is the most visible right now.  Production continues to be affected by EMS as well as a microsporidian disease that is causing growth problems.  EMS has not gone away, although there are signs in some areas that paradigm shifts are successfully lessening its impact.  Meanwhile, it continues to spread into new regions.  As farmers adapt to the challenges of new diseases, there should be a gradual increase in production in the hardest hit areas; however, there will be no sudden increase in shrimp production and no return to the status quo.

 

Although I am optimistic that shrimp farming will eventually recover, without substantial changes in the fundamental production paradigms, I see little reason to think this will be any time in the near future.  There are reports of companies selling tools that claim to solve specific problems, and companies are looking at a myriad of solutions, but the challenge is getting shrimp farmers to use the tools they already have.

 

Many diseases are spread by the movement of shrimp around the world, legally and illegally.  Individuals and companies who think the grass is greener elsewhere ignore basic common sense biosecurity measures and ship shrimp to disease-free areas.  Globally, shrimp farmers pay a very high price for this.

 

Recovery will be slow, and the high price of farmed shrimp will stimulate production in areas that are not yet affected by EMS and several other pathogens that are widely problematic in Southeast Asia, including microsporidian diseases and the nodavirus that causes covert mortality disease.

 

Until there is a substantial shift in awareness and increased concern among shrimp farmers, I don’t think global farmed shrimp production will reach the production levels that existed prior to the current crisis, which is only the latest in what seems to be a never-ending cycle of crises, any time in the next several years.

 

Information: Dr. Stephen G. Newman, Ph.D., President and CEO, AquaInTech, Inc., Lynnwood, Washington 98037, USA (phone 1-425-787-5218, email sgnewm@aqua-in-tech.com, webpages www.bioremediationaquaculture.com and www.sustainablegreenaquaculture.com).

 

Source: SeafoodSource.com.  Editor, Sean Murphy (smurphy@divcom.com).  Bullish Predictions for Farmed Shrimp Recovery Are Pipe Dreams.  Stephen Newman.  January 5, 2015.

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