Shrimp diseases are not a problem for the global shrimp industry. For shrimp farmers diseases are a worry though – one on a list of many.
How so? Well shrimp prices are at all time lows, indicative of good supply. If disease were a problem and affecting all geographical locations where commodity vannamei shrimp are grown then prices would start rising.
Commodity farmed vannamei shrimp has a global farming spread, a 3-5 month grow out cycle with a complete generational life cycle every 12 months. This together with the possibility to cold store frozen harvested stocks for up to 24 months gives the industry flexibility and rapid responsiveness to any potential disease outbreaks.
Of course if there is a global disease breakout prices will rise to such a degree that people will turn to eating chicken.
Prawn disease syndrome (PDS) is a objective view that promotes the rhetoric from many that the biggest problem for the industry is diseases. Not so! The biggest problem in the future is growing the market and concern that prices are so low for shrimp farmers.
These low prices turn people away from shrimp farming or, in a worst case scenario, be used to lower quality and hence costs in husbandry, be it feed, seed or management, which in turn could make shrimp more susceptible to local diseases.
Those in shrimp farming and reporting on shrimp farming should look to talk up shrimp farming and not catch a dose of PDS.