January 11, 2017


New shrimp virus detected in India



A virus affecting vannamei (whiteleg) shrimps, which was previously known to afflict only Thailand and Vietnam, has been detected in India.


The virus was detected by the department of marine living resources, Andhra University (AU) Visakhapatnam, and has been affecting over INR10 billion (US$146 million) worth of shrimps every year, the Hans India newspaper reported. 


The dual infection is known as Abdominal Segment Deformity Disease (ASDD) and microsporidian Enterocytozoon Hepatopenaei (EHP).


Both diseases were detected in brooders in Thailand and Vietnam in 2012. The AU marine department found the diseases in India in 2015. However, it was only recently that they were confirmed after several field tests.


India imports brooders from Hawaii, and these are supplied to the hatcheries after screening. Some hatchery owners, however, import directly from Hawaii and go into production without screening. "This could be one reason for spreading the diseases all over", Prof. R Janakiram of the AU marine department was quoted as saying in the news report.


New probiotic


Meanwhile, a researcher of the same department at AU, Gandham Krishna Geetha, has discovered a new probiotic, which could be used in feeding shrimp to shield them from diseases. A probiotic is a dietary supplement containing live bacteria that add to the beneficial bacteria normally present in the animal's gastrointestinal tract.


The commercial application of this new probiotic could substantially boost the aquaculture industry in India, Professor Janakiram said.


India produces over 409,000 tonnes of shrimps every year, of which 70% originate from Andra Pradesh state.


Exports are expected to reach around INR60 billion ($879 million) in the coming years.


India is the second-largest shrimp exporter in the world as June 2016, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. In the first half of last year it increased exports by 10.8% to 179,000 tonnes.

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