Shrimp bio-security. Regulators – don’t flush RAS shrimp down the toilet…chose system over program.

This reminds me my dealings from 1994 when processing, packing and exporting branded shrimp out of Ecuador for Marine Harvest International and where we test ran the NASA human food program of the proposed USFDA HACCP seafood system at commercial international trade level and then rolled it out countrywide prior to becoming US Law 1997. HACCP in food went global from space technology and we just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

A shrimp farmer likes to hear about bio-security programs. It is a way to keep shrimp healthy, by exclusion and limitation as expounded upon by Robins McIntosh of CP at WAS in March 2019.

Yes, we all want this to work to stop the need to medicate in the industry and to move against possible anti microbial resistance (AMR) but when asked about bio-security a non shrimp farmer, and that is the majority of people on this planet, will say containment – so that there are no escapees or anything coming out of the system that could affect their back yard….yes NIMBY’s are a major barrier to RAS.

If I knew a system was RAS bio-secure in the sense of being regulated for containment then I do not see the need why one would need to regulate on a program for exclusion and limitation as is the current case.

I would not care whether you used origin SPF, SPR, APE or run with chimpanzees. I would not worry if ultrafiltration, PCR or flushing shrimp toilets were used – as long as they did not flush out.

Regulators should look at the systems rather than the programs when legislating food for human consumption. In this case regarding biosecurity across biodiversity. Human, food, shrimp… probably in that order.

In aquaculture they turn to the likes of the OIE and large players, like CP, to get their guidance and then vested interests could be kicking in.

Then again if I had spent somewhere upwards of $200m on a shrimp genetic program, as CP has supposedly done, I too would be looking at how to get some mileage by raising the bar, lobbying, putting in barriers to entry, CSR, ethics, the lot.

Media access and PR has its role in a modern business. Anyway who else but shrimp farmers like listening to shrimp farmers.

My recommendation though is to promote RAS to be bio-secure in containment and not to think bio-security is just about exclusion or limitation which, lets face it, is more the responsible, face the shareholder, shrimp husbandry management part.

Regulate the system as if a permanent quarantine and containment site while they grow. Don’t try to regulate on shrimp genetics, shrimp origin, shrimp diseases, shrimp feeds or shrimp culture methods used as you would stifle growth and innovation. If RAS bio-secure containment sites then these are commercial considerations and each to his own. Do regulate on antibiotics, allowed additives and food safety post aquaculture.

Oh and don’t allow movement or sales of live shrimp out of bio-secure RAS systems….in yes, and from anywhere! but out alive no!

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