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New FAO Report Suggests Renaming Devastating Shrimp Disease

26 September 2013

GLOBAL - The FAO has released a new report on the emerging shrimp disease Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), also known as Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Syndrome (AHPNS) that has devastated the shrimp industry of China, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam over the last three years.

The report is the outcome of a FAO/Viet Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development technical workshop and the FAO project TCP/VIE/3304 “Emergency assistance to control the spread of an unknown disease affecting shrimps in Viet Nam”.

Sixty-three participating international experts and local stakeholders from the shrimp farming sector discussed the outcomes of the work carried out under the TCP project and the current state of knowledge on EMS in the affected countries.

The Workshop recognized that complacency in the shrimp aquaculture sector resulting in that laxity, during a period of relatively trouble-free shrimp production, led to vulnerability of the sector to any newly emerging pathogen that might arise unexpectedly, as is the case of EMS/AHPNS.

Poor management practices, weak compliance with standard, good biosecurity and good aquaculture practices both at farm and hatchery facilities were evident.

It is now clear that shrimp aquaculture needs to improve and continue to develop into a sector that implements responsible and science-based farming practices.

With the current understanding that EMS/AHPNS has a bacterial aetiology, a strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, the Workshop recommended that a proper name be now given to MS/AHPNS, i.e. acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND).

In light of the information, the Workshop agreed on a list of specific and generic actions and measures that may help reduce and manage the risks of EMS, directed to various shrimp stakeholders (public and private sectors).

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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