shrimp aquacu .& shrimp aquaculture the new normal august 17 ... we can have production back to the
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TARS 2016 Meeting Report&
Shrimp Aquaculture The New Normal
August 17-18, 2016, Phuket, Thailand
TARS 2016: Shrimp Aquaculture & The New Normal, the sixth in The Aquaculture Roundtable Series was held in Phuket, Thailand
from 17-18 August. This was a follow-up to TARS 2014, held at the
height of the early mortality syndrome in Asia. Some recovery
was expected and in 2014, participants suggested options for
the recovery, revival and renaissance of the industry. This has
not been realised and the industry remains vulnerable to disease
outbreaks and disease threats to the industry have multiplied.
The program for TARS 2016 was structured to take the industry
to a new normal with the realisation that disease-free farming
is pass. Today, it is all about learning to live with diseases,
controlling variables, adapting farm practices and nutrition, and
better production planning. Managing diseases should not be left
to only the farmers but is the responsibility of all stakeholders.
In her welcome remarks, Dr Juadee Pongmaneerat, Deputy Director General, Department of
Fisheries, Thailand emphasised
on the need to work around the
diseases and factor in counter
measures in production planning.
"The reality is that we need to
adapt and change so that Asia's
shrimp industry can continue to
In 2015, Thailand produced
250,000 tonnes of shrimp, which
was better than in 2014 but still
below our production of 540,000 tonnes in 2012. Our best was
in 2010 at 640,000 tonnes. Our leaders in the shrimp farming
industry are leading the charge and we are optimistic that soon
we will recover.
The State of the Shrimp Aquaculture Industry in Asia - Change, Change, and more Change.
As per its tradition, TARS
2016 started with the state of
the industry address. Robins McIntosh, Vice President of Charoen Pokphand Foods,
Thailand gave an overview on
recent developments and what is
required for future sustainability.
Historically the industry has
had four epochs and two crises,
said McIntosh. The good years
in 2010 and 2009 were followed
by a 20% decline in production
in 2013. These are what I call
catastrophic losses. We have not
seen any improvement in shrimp production for 3 years. In 2016,
we can expect 11% less shrimp, he continued.
The history of global shrimp production was typified by the
trend in Thailand. Our first crisis was solved with domestication
and biosecurity in 2001. The Golden Age of Shrimp started in
2003, with almost 300% increase in world production over a 10-
year period. The second crisis came in 2011 with a levelling of
production. Just as we had ended the first crisis with change, so
again we are looking at change to end this crisis. I believe that
when we solve this, the industry will go into another Golden Age.
Change is hard and shrimp farmers tend to not like change, but
sometimes change is necessary. Once you find the right change,
things get better.
EMS is complicatedIt is not AHPND alone or EHP alone or only WSSV. It could be
AHPND with EHP, AHPND and WSSV or AHPND with the bacteria
Shewanella. All of these pathogens are out there at the same time, and interacting in ways we did not anticipate.
The bacteria Shewanella is also present with the same prevalence as AHPND. Together there is a synergistic effect and
there is higher mortality than with Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) alone as described by Dr Kallaya Sritunyalucksana (see p18).
With WSSV-AHPND interaction, when well controlled, there
can be no mortality when the Vp count is at 102 CFU/mL. However,
what will the farmer diagnose this as? Usually, this is taken as
a WSSV loss. In many countries, we are seeing reports of new
WSSV outbreaks, generally not seen 5 years ago.
Post larvae efficiency indexA good gauge of recovery, according to McIntosh is the post
larvae efficiency index.' This is the amount of post larvae used
to produce 1 tonne of shrimp. In 2010, the industry in Thailand
used almost 10 tonnes/million post larvae (PL). During the depth
of the crisis, this decreased to 3 tonnes/million PL. In 2016, there
will be a technical improvement and a signal for recovery with an
estimate of 7 tonnes/million PL.
This year we can produce 320,000 tonnes and by 2017,
continue up to 350-360,000 tonnes. I have confidence in this
because we understand now that two toxins create AHPND and
we know what we are doing now.
The model for recovery from AHPNDBasically, the bacteria worked with quorum sensing which
needs a threshold amount of bacteria. By reducing the amount
of bacteria in the pond, farms could reduce the severity of the
outbreak. At the same time, I had found that there was a genetic
component, a heredity to tolerance. In 2016 in Thailand, we found
that if we increase shrimp tolerance, we had better results. Today,
as we continue to increase the tolerance of the shrimp to the
toxin, we can have production back to the level before AHPND
As we now understand the enemy (AHPND), we can create
a new biosecurity rule. This is not to exclude the bacteria, but
just to reduce the levels through elimination and reduction of the
food and the substrates that make those bacteria grow. These
include all shrimp feeds, moulds, sludge and organic material in
the pond. In 2012, we showed that if the levels were not above
104 CFU/mL, there was no mortality, provided there is only one
factor. Exclusion is not necessary but just limit the levels.
In Thailand, there are fewer culture ponds today. In 2010, one
farm had 78% of pond area for shrimp culture but in 2016, it has
only 38%. The major increase is with reservoir ponds, from 13%
to 46%. With these changes, profits are higher, shrimp sizes are
bigger and productivity better. Crop failures from AHPND is less.
The big debate on definition of SPF/SPR Specific pathogen free (SPF) stock refers to the health status of a
stock and not a genetic characteristic. To qualify as SPF, a shrimp
must be free of all known shrimp viruses. Specific pathogen
resistant (SPR) refers to a genetic characteristic, that is being
resistant to a specific pathogen; a shrimp may be both SPF and
There is a lot of misunderstanding on SPF/SPR such that it has
created problems in the industry. SPF just means clean shrimp.
This is essential for any biosecurity program and to reduce the
risks of translocating shrimp diseases. If we had the discipline
with surveillance, EHP would not move around as it has. We also
want tolerance to a specific disease, but we should have this in
a clean body.
McIntosh also addressed another aspect, that selection for
resistance sacrifices growth. Selection for both characteristics
takes a lot more work for families and costs more. However, if
I had to choose, I would give up some resistance for growth,
because growth is the economical driver here.
The new normal, said McIntosh is changing with science and technology, with transparency, and with pride. A profitable shrimp culture for the industry and affordable shrimp for the everyday consumer.
Lessons Learnt Post IMNV in IndonesiaIn his presentation on Indonesian Shrimp Farming, Lessons learnt from IMNV, Anwar Hasan, Regional Technical Manager Aquaculture, Biomin said that when dealing with infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV), the focus was on maintaining a sustainable carrying capacity, improving culture conditions and reducing stocking density to mitigate the disease.
With the vannamei shrimp, we changed our culture density, from low density to high and super intensive systems. The IMNV outbreak affected our shrimp farming from 2008-2012 with shrimp mortality ranging from 20% to 80%. In the initial years, the effect was necrosis of the skeletal muscle at 90 days of culture (DOC 90) but gradually, the impact of the disease was 40% mortality with initial symptoms appearing at DOC 40.
The industry in Indonesia attributed the severity of IMNV to carrying capacity and began to work on adjusting culture practices to match pond biomass. In addition, attention was given to reducing water exchange and improving water quality within the pond with probiotics. Biosecurity measures and partial harvesting were introduced. Sludge removal, already a common practice in the early years of shrimp farming in Indonesia, intensified using newer models to increase efficiency and automation. Anwar gave some examples of changes at the farm level.
In 2007, the stocking density at one farm was 120-150 PL/m2. Although, IMNV caused some mortality, levels were low. In 2008, as mortality increased, the farm reduced stocking density to 60-80 PL/m2. As mortality continued, stocking density was further reduced to 40 PL/m2 in some farms. Shrimp survived with no IMNV. The farm increased stocking density to 50 PL/m2 but still
IMNV outbreaks did not occur.
Although, IMNV is no longer a threat today, Indonesian shrimp
farmers continue with these living with IMNV farm practices. In
hatcheries, the emphasis is on IMNV prevention using disease-
free broodstock and post larvae as well as better quality post
larvae. At th