News Release – NR07-03 – April 2, 2007

Posted on Apr 2, 2007 in 2007 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) issued a quarantine order on a Kahuku shrimp farm late Friday afternoon (March 30) after surveillance tests detected the Taura Syndrome Virus (TSV), a potentially serious shrimp disease in one of the farm’s two above-ground concrete ponds.  (Quarantine Order attached).

The quarantine order prohibits Ming Dynasty Fish and Shrimp Company from moving any shrimp from the premises and from moving any shrimp on to the premises without a permit.  Shrimp postlarvae and broodstock from the hatchery tested negative for the virus, which is deadly to certain types of shrimp but not harmful to humans even if consumed.  Previously, the farm had tested negative to viruses during the one-, three- and six-month intervals of a 12-month surveillance program.

Samples at the farm were taken on March 16 by the Aquaculture Development Program (ADP) aquatic veterinarian and sent to the Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory at the University of Arizona-Tucson.  At the time the samples were taken, no symptoms of TSV and no unusual rates of mortalities were observed. The results were received on March 27, at which time the shrimp in the affected concrete pond had already been harvested and the tank emptied and disinfection procedures initiated.  Effluent from the ponds do not enter the ocean; but is held in containment basins on site.  The source of the infection has not been determined.

On March 29, HDOA’s aquatic veterinarian collected additional samples to determine if the remaining shrimp continue to be free of TSV.  Results are expected later this week.  An animal disease veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is also investigating the outbreak.

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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 To view the quarantine order, click here.