The SFP and major seafood retailers are urging governments to tackle shrimp disease Photo: SFPThe SFP and major seafood retailers are urging governments to tackle shrimp disease Photo: SFP

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) together with more than 25 major retailers and seafood companies has written to the governments of China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam urging them to take increased and immediate action to address the ongoing problem of new diseases in shrimp farms.

The five countries are the world’s top producers of shrimp. Given the major supply chain disruptions and economic losses caused by diseases that spread rapidly across Asia in 2012 and 2013, the companies strongly appealed to governments to get ahead of the situation this time.

“Governments need to take action now to stop disease outbreaks in shrimp farms,” said Anton Immink, aquaculture director at SFP.

“Disease disrupts the reliability of supply chains, threatens seafood sustainability and jobs, and continually costs the industry billions of dollars each year,” he added.

All major shrimp producing countries have already committed to follow international guidelines for necessary controls issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Animal Health Organization but more needs to be done.

“The economic costs of investing in good health control systems, best management practices in farms and hatcheries, epidemiological analysis and emergency response planning is minimal when compared to the tens of billions of dollars that diseases cost the industry every year,” said the letter.

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