HONOLULU – Follow-up test results received yesterday from a Kahuku shrimp farm are negative for the Taura Syndrome Virus (TSV). Initial surveillance tests conducted in mid-March at the Ming Dynasty Fish and Shrimp Company farm were positive for TSV, but appeared confined to one pond. Shrimp in that particular pond was harvested and cleaning and disinfection procedures are ongoing. TSV is deadly to certain types of shrimp, but not harmful to humans even if consumed.
The State Quarantine Order issued on March 30 preventing the movement of shrimp on or off the property will remain in effect until clean-up procedures and some additional testing have been completed at the farm.
The negative test results received yesterday from the Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory at the University of Arizona-Tucson were from shrimp that was being raised in a second pond and the hatchery.
In addition to State veterinary disease specialists, an animal disease veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is also assisting with the outbreak. The source of the infection has not been determined.
Previously, the farm had tested negative to viruses during the one-, three- and six-month intervals of a 12-month surveillance program conducted by the Aquaculture Development Program (ADP) of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
Ming Dynasty Fish and Shrimp Farm is the only one in the Kahuku area that participates in ADP’s Shrimp Surveillance and Certification Program, which certifies farms as “specific pathogen free.” Hawaii is recognized worldwide for its superior, healthy shrimp stock.
TSV was first identified in 1992 in Ecuador, near the mouth of the Taura River and since then outbreaks of the virus have occurred in other South American countries, Mexico, Asia, Florida and Texas. In 1994, an outbreak of TSV occurred at an aquaculture farm in Kahuku and killed more than 95 percent of the farm’s shrimp. The source of the outbreak in 1994 was never determined, but disinfection efforts appeared to have been successful.
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