• 02 Jul 2014

Summary and recommendations

For the purpose of detection and surveillance of EMS / AHPNS, the definition proposed by Prof Don Lightner, which relies mainly on histopathology of hepatopancreas may be employed along with the clinical signs. It is important that histological examination be carried out to confirm that suspected occurrences fit the AHPNS case definition devised by Dr. Lightner. Identifying the primary cause of EMS / AHPNS is necessary and can be addressed by robust scientific programme. Until this information becomes available, every shrimp producing country in the region must increase disease awareness among the shrimp farmers. Considering the great economic loss that EMS is likely to cause in the region’s shrimp aquaculture, ways of preventing the spread and/or occurrence of this disease should be formulated by concerned experts, officials and other regulatory bodies. Farmers, on the other hand, should also cooperate with the concerned agencies by promptly reporting any suspected mortalities among cultured shrimp that appear to be similar to the clinical description of EMS / AHPNS.

Considering the way the EMS / AHPNS has spread, it is necessary to impose restrictions on movement of live affected animals to areas free from EMS either for culture or for processing purposes, and movement of live shrimp may be undertaken only after conducting robust import risk analyses. A regional emergency aquatic animal disease fund may be created and an investigation initiated soon for understanding the etiology, prevention and control of EMS that may be coordinated by a regional body such as NACA.