Aquaculture Magazine

February / March 2014

Shrimp

By Hui Gong.

Shrimp has always been my favorite research subject since I was at graduate school. I witnessed the impressive growth trajectory of the shrimp aquaculture industry in the past two decades with some highs and lows along the path, even though the annual growth rate dropped to 4.8% starting from 2006.

Total global shrimp aquaculture production in 2012 was close to 4 million metric tons, which accounted for more than half of world shrimp supplies.
Among several penaeid shrimp species chosen for aquaculture, Penaeus vannamei Boone takes the lead as the dominant species worldwide. P. vannamei accounted for over 71.8% of shrimp aquaculture production, at 2.72 million metric tons out of the 3.78 million metric tons produced globally in 2010 (FAO 2012).  Research efforts on identifying various nutrients requirements, developing specific pathogen free (SPF) stock and genetic improvement of P. vannamei have established solid foundations for P. vannamei to become the dominant cultured shrimp species globally. It is an indisputable fact that infectious shrimp disease outbreaks remain as the most profound threat to this fast growing industry.
Since the 1990s, some viral pathogens have caused billions of dollars in economic loss, such as White Spot Syndrome Virus, Taura Syndrome Virus, Infectious Hypodermal and Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus, and others. The economic loss due to outbreaks of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), the most recent epidemic affect much of Asia and Mexico, was estimated to be roughly 5 billion USD in 2013 alone (GAA 2013). The cause of EMS was identified as Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp), a bacteria, by Dr. Donald Lightner’s team at the University of Arizona. More research efforts are needed for understanding the mechanism of Vp related toxins and finding solutions through management practices, higher biosecurity measures, breeding for EMS tolerant strains, and other approaches.
My shrimp aquaculture experiences are from both academic and industrial backgrounds, and have involved research in shrimp nutritional requirements, maturation, larval rearing and system management, development of specific pathogen free (SPF) shrimp, biosecurity and health management, and genetic selection. Most of my recent projects have focused on a small-scale genetic breeding program of SPF P. vannamei established at the University of Guam.
I hope that my column in Aquaculture Magazine will bridge the academic and industrial worlds, with updated information in shrimp culture and technologies, while seeking in-depth understanding of the issues and looking for possible solutions for the shrimp sector.

Hui Gong.

Hui Gong is Associate Professor in College of Natural and Applied Sciences at University of Guam. Gong had her M.S. in marine biology from Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and PhD from Texas A&M University at College Station. Her expertise in shrimp aquaculture has built from 17 years’ experience of applied research in both academic and industrial background, which includes nutrition studies, water quality dynamics, maturation, larval rearing and grow-out production management, development of specific pathogen free shrimp, biosecurity and health management, disease diagnosis, and genetic selection.

Gong’s research interests include sustainable aquaculture development, shrimp nutrition and genetic selection for feeding efficiency, health

management in shrimp breeding program and production systems, and application of molecular biology and immunology in improving shrimp disease resistance.

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