Global Shrimp Farm Survey May Help Address Best Practices to Avoid Spread of EMS

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) received support from the World Bank’s Allfish project and the Seafood Industry Research Fund of the National Fisheries Institute earlier this year in their continued efforts to address the harmful spread of Early Mortality Syndrome, or EMS, among shrimp farms.


The disease effects shrimp’s immune system by converting naturally occurring bacteria in their bodies into a harmful toxin. Since the first report of EMS in China in 2009, the ailment has had a devastating impact on farmed shrimp populations around the world. Although some progress has been made to stop the spread of EMS, researchers have already ruled out antibiotics as an effective treatment.

While investigation continues into potential medical treatments, the GAA will soon launch a new online survey to collect information about the spread of EMS on farms in impacted areas. The survey, created by a panel of 10 international experts, aims to analyze the methods of specific farms that maintain low rates of EMS, despite their location in moderate to highly affected regions. From the information gathered by shrimp farmers around the world, the panel hopes to create a reference of the best management practices to prevent the introduction and spread of the disease.

Results from the survey will be made available in the GAA’s Global Aquaculture Advocate magazine and other mediums later this year.

“GAA Initiates EMS Case Study.” FIS. Fish Info & Services Co. Ltd. March 2014. Web. May 2014.

“EMS Continues to Take A Toll on Global Shrimp Farming Industry.” FIS. Fish Info & Services Co. Ltd. May 2014. Web. May 2014.