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The magnitude of economic loss caused by shrimp diseases, and the speed with which various viruses have been transmitted among geographically distinct regions have alarmed everyone who depend on the shrimp industry for their livelihood. These diseases are transmitted from parents to offspring during reproduction.  Most broodstock, traditionally collected from nature, now carry diseases and therefore offer poor promise for producing the healthy seed needed for farming. 

Hatcheries that use contaminated broodstock produce contaminated seed and transfer negative economic consequences to farms.  Regions with long histories in shrimp aquaculture have been hit very hard by disease over the last several years.

While the research community pursues long-term solutions to shrimp diseases, it is critical that those in the industry find immediate and economical ways to avoid contamination and protect their businesses from the financial impacts caused by these diseases.  With this objective in mind, we discuss below the principal causes for disease problems, and offer a remedy that is near-term, practical, and economical.

There are two principal stages where disease contamination occurs, during growout in the farming operation and during seed production in the hatchery.  During growout, disease transmission arises from the introduction of water and animals from nature, or from the use of contaminated seed that is used to stock farms.  Frequently, the natural environment surrounding shrimp farming areas is contaminated with the shrimp viruses that cause problems for farms, but the removal of contaminants from incoming water is technically difficult and prohibitively expensive.  The shipment of contaminated shrimp from one area of production to another for processing is now thought to be a key factor in the speed with these virus have been transmitted around the world

Most of the important shrimp viruses are passed from parent to offspring during the reproduction process in the hatchery. Hatcheries that do not practice the necessary sanitation protocols are at great risk to become contaminated.  Hatcheries that use contaminated broodstock can only produce and sell contaminated seed to their clients.  To provide high quality seed to farming operations, hatcheries must use only broodstock that do not contain any of the known shrimp pathogens (i.e., Specific Pathogen Free), and the must keep their operation from becoming infected from the outside.  Reliable hatcheries operate under strict rules covering the source of their broodstock and the operational protocols under which these animals will be maintained during reproduction.

Unfortunately, hatcheries sometimes allow themselves to purchase broodstock animals from unproven sources that cannot guarantee that the animals are free of viral pathogens.  Broodstock that come from areas where shrimp farming is actively practiced carry an especially high probability of being infected.  The purchase of such animals may occur because these animals are often marketed at very low prices, which seem very attractive.  However, the broodstock-purchase decision that chooses low cost rather than reliable health quality brings serious economic consequences to the hatchery, the farms purchasing infected seed, as well as the brokers which ship the product.

Occasionally, hatcheries can follow the rule of using only SPF broodstock, and still become infected when neighboring operations (over which they have no control) bring contamination into their area.  This can be mitigated by operators in a given area agreeing to use only certified SPF broodstock from a source free from any pathogen contamination.  To protect their reputation, the best hatchery operators promote the quality of seed they produce and distribute.  This is supported by the exclusive use of SPF broodstock and a commitment to safeguards to prevent contamination.

The use of specially bred, high health animals to produce the highest quality seed is a time-proven principal employed for decades in all forms of modern agriculture.  This new capability, now being offered by Ceatech USA, Inc., is set to change forever the way the shrimp aquaculture operates.

CEATECH is a biotech company in aquaculture.  In addition to its modern, high yield farming operation, CEATECH offers Specific Pathogen Free broodstock to commercial hatcheries worldwide. CEATECH’s broodstock are guaranteed to be free of important shrimp pathogens.  These animals also have been selectively bred over many generations to promote desirable characteristics such as high growth rates, disease resistance, or fecundity. These broodstock are available for sale year round.  The highest quality broodstock insure robust postlarvae for highest farm profits. There has been increasing reliance in major shrimp farming regions on SPF broodstock.  Access to uncontaminated broodstock creates business opportunities for brokers, hatcheries, and farms that are interested in increasing their profits.

CEATECH HHGI Breeding Corporation supports this goal by providing of SPF broodstock to the industry.  The accompanying documents describe the SPF broodstock and postlarvae products that are available from the CEATECH HHGI Breeding Corporation in Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, USA.   Also described are the rigorous procedures to insure the SPF status of these animals. These animals are available throughout the year, and can be shipped to any location within 36 hours of Hawai‘i

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