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Shrimp Disease Hurts Mekong Delta Farmers

Crustaceans Health Biosecurity +7 more

VIET NAM - Shrimp farmers in coastal provinces of the Mekong Delta are suffering unprecedented losses due to a disease that has infected tiger shrimp in 40,000 hectares of farm area.

Pham Hoang Giang, head of the Bac Lieu Aquaculture Department, said microsporidiosis was the main cause of the losses.

Right now there is no specific remedy for the disease and farmers can only prevent it by testing the breeding shrimp to make sure they are disease-free before raising them, he said.

Over 11,000 hectares of shrimp farms in Bac Lieu have been destroyed, Luong Ngoc Lan, head of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said.

In Tra Vinh, about 330 million shrimp in 6,200 hectares of farm area all over the province have died, causing a loss of over VN $12 billion.

In Soc Trang, 20,000 out of 25,000 hectares of shrimp farms have been destroyed, causing VN $1.5 trillion (US$75 million) in losses.

Nguyen Van Sang, residing in Lieu Tu Commune, Tran De District of Soc Trang, said he had invested VN$50 million ($2,500) in three hectares of farming area for tiger shrimp, only to have all his shrimp die after two weeks.

Lam Tan Cuong, from My Xuyen District, said his shrimp have died under strange circumstances.

“The shrimp all killed themselves by crashing into the pond bank,” he said.

Most of the shrimp have died at the age of 20 to 30 days, causing great financial stress to farmers who invested in the improvement of ponds, shrimp breeding and food.

Tran Thanh Tuan, an experienced shrimp farmer in Bac Lieu, said each hectare of dead shrimp would cause a loss of VN$40 million ($2,000).

The Soc Trang People’s Committee is expected to set aside VN$20 billion ($1million) to help the farmers continue their farming.

The provincial committee has also asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for more support for shrimp farmers.