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Should Shrimp Farmers Buy
Seedstock from EMS Hot Zones?
Shrimp News: This discussion about purchasing shrimp seedstock from countries and regions infected with early mortality syndrome (EMS) began on The Shrimp List on November 12, 2013, about two weeks before EMS was officially confirmed in India.
Daniel Gruenberg (email@example.com): The official word from Dr. Lightner’s office at The University of Arizona in the USA on EMS in India is “no word”. To the enlightened soul, one can easily imagine if the result were negative, the answer would be “EMS-FREE,” screamed at the top of their lungs.
I wish governments would stop trying to sweep diseases under the rug and make some concrete steps to manage them (which can be done if you actually admit you have them).
The solution to EMS has now become a multi-billion-dollar question. It is time for a paradigm change in this industry. Despite being hit hard at our farm by EMS in 2013, production is now back to 80% of pre-EMS levels, and steps are being taken to significantly improve production above pre-EMS levels. We hope to accomplish this in early 2014.
Unfortunately, our industry is fraught with pseudo-science. Industry pundits are still hanging onto the idea of manipulating pH levels to control EMS, while multiple controlled experiments have shown no significant effect from pH. There are rumors that low salinity ponds don’t get EMS, but I have seen it in ponds with salinities as low as two parts per thousand.
With all the focus on Vibrio parahaemolyticus as the cause of EMS, folks have forgotten about genetics; however, the vice president of a leading shrimp farming company contacted me to say that he thought genetics played a key role in EMS. So far, every country to get EMS has either a genetics program focused on selection for high growth, or they have poorly managed or purposely inbred broodstock.