Shrimp industry hit by EMS disease

Shrimp industry hit by EMS disease
Shrimp farmers collecting shrimps from a pond in Malacca. A new vaccine will be introduced in the state next month aimed at reducing the risk of the virus attacks.

MALACCA - Local shrimp farmers are being adversely affected by large-scale losses of their products due to a disease called "Early Mortality Syndrome" (EMS), says an industry expert.

The disease has caused high mortality rates of cultivated shrimp in China, Vietnam and Thailand for the past two years.

The problem has also affected Malaysia, said the industry expert Shamar Kamarudin.

He said EMS or Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Syndrome (AHPNS) comes from bacteria and delays shrimp growth that prevents it from reaching maturity.

"It simply means the shrimp will be undersized and eventually they cannot be harvested.

"The disease can infect shrimp through virus carriers such as wild shrimps, crabs and the shrimp seeds itself," he said in an interview here yesterday.

In the latest case, he said an EMS case was detected in July in Johor, where 100 per cent of all shrimps in seven ponds died due to infection.

The virus is known to affect two species of shrimps commonly bred worldwide, which are the giant tiger prawn and white shrimp.

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