Proceedings of the Expert Consultation on Genetic Erosion Risk Analysis for Shrimp Diseases in Asia, 2013
Shrimp aquaculture in tropical regions is facing a disease-induced catastrophe of lost production. It is estimated that more than 40% of tropical shrimp production is lost to disease annually. The devastating impacts of disease on lost incomes, livelihoods, increased operational costs, trade restrictions and loss of consumer confidence has been a subject of many consultations and policy dialogues. Discussions of disease crisis have to date been largely focused on identification of pathogens, guidelines and standards for disease detection and surveillance, regulations to limit trans-boundary movement of animals, and adoption of better management practices.
There is reason to believe that current broodstock management practices may induce genetic erosion that increases susceptibility to disease and vulnerability to epizootics:
The basic tenet for this Expert Consultation is that an important aggravating factor in the disease crisis is an agro-economic system that locks shrimp breeders, hatcheries and farmers into behaviour that induces high levels of inbreeding. If inbreeding does increase the severity and frequency of epidemics, this disease crisis will only get worse over vast areas of Asia, Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East until it is addressed.
Via John Bostock