An unconfirmed disease has caused the dying out of shrimps in at least one shrimp farm pond in the South. When we broke the story on Wednesday, BAHA officials were already on the ground quarantining the pond of the first farm affected to ensure that the unnamed disease does not spread. Most of the country’s shrimp farms are located in the Southern part of the country and situated between Riversdale and Monkey River area. As recently as yesterday, Plus news received credible information that a second shrimp pond is experiencing the same situation. Today we spoke to Dr. Miguel Depaz, the Director of Animal Health from BAHA who briefed us on the situation.
Dr. Miguel Depaz – Director of Animal Health, BAHA
“BAHA is conducting active surveillance to determine the spread of the situation … a condition. We do not confirmation of any disease as yet but we know at least one farm is having problems with mortality in young shrimps. We are yet to confirm the name of the disease. “
Emmanuel Pech – Plus TV Journalist
“As of recent, we received information that a second pond is reviling this situation where shrimps are dieing. Can you confirm?”
Dr. Miguel Depaz
“We do have active surveillance. Our recent reports does indicate another farm. We do have a situation down there. It is yet to confirm what it really is. We have speculations and the histology reports is highly suggestive of a disease.”
While this situation could have serious implications for the multimillion dollar shrimp industry, an already struggling industry, shrimp lovers can breathe a little easier because, according to Depaz, the disease that is causing the shrimps to die is suspected to be a gram negative bacteria, which if consumed, is not harmful to human health.
Dr. Miguel Depaz
“It has no human health implications. It is strictly a shrimp disease and it only affects the very young shrimp. So it causes a problem in repopulating ponds… you don’t have young shrimp to repopulate your ponds, then your production will defiantly decrease and decrease tremendously because the mortality is high. We have implemented quarantine to mitigate the spread. The quarantine measures includes that the farms strengthens bio- security. It will have to disinfect whatever truck or crates leave or enter the farm . If you have control of persons entering the farm. Only persons that really need to enter the farm would do so. We have implemented quarantine one farm at this time. The quarantine also include that young shrimp does not leave the farm… any shrimp less than five grams.
We understand that the shrimp farmers of the area met today to discuss the situation. We did speak with two separate shrimp farm managers from the area today who say that while there are die off of shrimps in some ponds, and BAHA is looking into the matter and taking necessary measures, they do not think the situation is unmanageable or that there is any need for panic at this time.