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BAHA issues advisory to shrimp industry on disease affecting shrimp

Posted: Friday, December 30, 2022. 3:04 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the Regional International Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE), and the Belize Shrimp Growers Association (BSGA) have issued a joint advisory to the shrimp industry on preventive measures to safeguard against a disease named Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP).

BAHA said that it has already introduced sanitary measures to prevent the introduction of the disease and reminds everyone that a valid BAHA Import Permit is required for the importation of animal and animal products, including shrimp.

“EHP is an emerging pathogen affecting cultured shrimp,” said the joint advisory.

EHP is an intracellular fungus that infects three varieties of white leg shrimp and is suspected to infect a fourth variety as well.

“EHP infects the tubules of the hepatopancreas (HP) and inhibits the ability of this critical organ to gain nutrition from feed. EHP is characterized by severe slow growth, high size variation, chronic infections and mortality in severe cases,” said the joint advisory.

“It increases susceptibility to outbreaks of other diseases (secondary infections” and “may result in pond mortality”.

BAHA said EHP has been reported in Asia and Australia. It is highly suspected to already be in countries of Central and South America.

“Shrimp producers are encouraged to strengthen and maintain high levels of biosecurity in their establishments, and to review their contingency plans,” said the joint advisory.

BAHA said that disease outbreaks, unusual behavior, and mortality of shrimps or prawns should be reported to them within 24 hours. The BAHA Veterinary Services may be reached by phone: 824-4872, e-mail: [email protected].bz, and though their website: www.baha.org.bz


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