An emerging disease known as early mortality syndrome (EMS) or acute hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome (AHPNS) has been recently causing significant losses in shrimp farms in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand since 2009. The disease affects both black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon and Pacific white shrimp, P. vannamei and is characterised by mass mortalities during the first 20-30 days of culture after stocking.
Considering the severity of the disease, the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) jointly organized an emergency regional consultation on EMS/AHPNS with the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Australia, in Bangkok, on 9-10 August 2012, to share information on this emerging disease, its occurrence, pathology and diagnosis, and to develop a coordinated regional response. Eighty-seven (87) participants including international shrimp health experts, regional governments and industry participated in the consultation. The expected outputs of the consultation included increasing awareness on EMS, disseminate current knowledge on EMS to the participants, define case definition of EMS, identify the causative agent, suggest preventive and control measures, and improving surveillance, monitoring and reporting.