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Emergency Regional Consultation on Shrimp Early Mortality Syndrome

18 July 2012, at 1:00am

THAILAND - Recently, an emerging disease known as early mortality syndrome (EMS) in shrimp (also termed acute hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome or AHPNS) has been reported to cause significant losses among shrimp farmers in China, Viet Nam, Malaysia and the eastern Gulf of Thailand.

Outbreaks in Viet Nam and Malaysia have caused severe economic losses and significantly lowered annual farmed shrimp production.

The disease affects both P. monodon and P. vannamei and is characterised by mass mortalities, reaching up to 100 per cent in some cases, during the first 20-30 days of post-stocking culture. Clinical signs include slow growth, corkscrew swimming, loose shells, pale colouration and an abnormal hepatopancreas. The primary pathogen has not been identified.

Given the serious impact of this emerging shrimp disease, NACA and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are convening an emergency consultation on the 9 - 10 August in Bangkok to:

  • Develop a regional emergency response and contingency plans to contain, control and prevent the disease.
  • Improve surveillance, monitoring and reporting arrangements for EMS and a protocol for outbreak investigation.
  • Develop a case definition and field level disease information card to improve awareness.
  • Coordinate collaborative research to identify the primary causative agent.

The consultation will bring together around 50 people including 10 global shrimp health experts, the competent authorities of regional governments, international agencies such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the private sector to develop a coordinated response.

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