It seems that all too many people are still not getting the message, despite the fact I’ve been saying for many months there is no imminent recovery of shrimp farming to the production levels of a few years ago. Disease is a fact of life.
Agricultural production is highly susceptible to disease -- aquaculture even more so. This is a partly a result of production paradigms that ignore time-honored biosecurity measures, and where short term gain is more important than long term sustainable production (I am talking about shrimp farming).
Shrimp farmers in Southeast Asia are being wracked by several diseases of which Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) was the most visible. Production continues to be affected by EMS as well as a microsporidian that is causing growth problems. EMS has not gone away, although there are signs in some areas that paradigm shifts are successfully lessening the impact.
Meanwhile, the pathogen continues to spread into areas that are as of yet unaffected. As farmers adapt to the challenges these new diseases pose, there should be a gradual increase in production in areas affected the worse. There will be no sudden increases and return to the status quo.
Although I am optimistic 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. Periodically, there are reports of companies selling tools that claim will solve specific problems, and although there are many companies looking at a myriad of technologies, the challenge is getting shrimp farmers to use the tools they have.
[Source: Stephen Newman, Seafood Source. Read the full article]