World | Africa

May 22, 2012

New Virus Hits Aquaculture in the Indian Ocean

The white spot syndrome virus appeared for the first in our sub-region in Mozambique last year. It has been detected this time in Madagascar. The disease kills crustaceans, especially shrimp farming. The affected farms totalled losses in millions of euros.

White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) or white spot disease. Until 2011, the Indian Ocean was one of the last regions in the world untouched by this disease that affects more than forty species of crustaceans on the planet. Today, our Indian sub-region is indeed contaminated in turn.

The first cases were reported in late August last year, Reunion installed on a farm near Quelimane, Mozambique.The structure established by Aquapesca (Océinde group) was forced to stop its net organic production of shrimp. This information is communicated to the World Organization for Animal Health at the time had greatly concerned the government of Madagascar, rightly, as the shrimp industry has grown in the mangroves on the west coast of the Big Island, less than 700 km from the coast of Mozambique. The Malagasy government had immediately banned all imports of seafood from Mozambique and any introduction of processed products or equipment used in handling them.

Madagascar in turn affected

But the trade barrier has not had the desired effect. The Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, University of Arizona (USA) recently confirmed the first case Malagasy. The virus was detected on May 5 Menabe a farm, near Morondava, owned AQUAMEN EF, one of two industry heavyweights on the Big Island with the band Unima.

A potential disaster for the industry. Because the virus is lethal to shrimp to more than 75%. "We had to isolate farm fish and shrimp for 100% of the burn," said an official of the firm of Manabe. "We lost a full cycle, or about 300 tons.It's like a climate catastrophe. " Estimated losses according to business magazine Tropical and Mediterranean Markets: over 3.5 million.

$ 3 billion in annual losses

The white spot syndrome virus is not the only disease may contaminate fish farms but it is certainly one of the most expensive. In 2002, an international report estimated losses at more than $ 3 billion a year on the planet. Some countries previously affected as Taiwan saw their output divided by three after infection. The financial stakes of bio-security are very important for the industry. For information, crustaceans represent only 10% of the volume of seafood from Mozambique but contribute to 75% in value of exports and still represent an annual turnover of $ 51.8 million. In Madagascar in 2010, the sub-shrimp industry generated export about 50 million dollars in revenue. It represented that year more than 3,500 direct jobs.

Text by lexpress.mu
 

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