HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) today placed an emergency quarantine prohibiting the movement of shrimp from Limaloa Farm on Kauai. The quarantine order was issued when confirmatory tests came back positive for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), a serious disease in shrimp.
While WSSV is a highly contagious and fatal disease for shrimp and other crustaceans, it does not pose any threat to human health, even if affected shrimp are consumed. As the name suggests, shrimp with the disease may exhibit white spots and rapid death usually follows. This is the second time that WSSV has been detected at that facility, which is the former Ceatech shrimp farm. WSSV was detected at the Ceatech operation in April 2004. Ceatech subsequently filed for bankruptcy. The farm, under new ownership, was released from quarantine on January 25, 2006, after shrimp grown in the ponds tested negative for WSSV. WSSV outbreaks have been reported in Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines and in Central and South America.
According to Limaloa Farms, they noticed a problem in one of four ponds on June 12th. Subsequently, shrimp tissue samples were sent on June 13th for testing to the Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory at the University of Arizona – Tucson. Positive confirmatory test results were received today.
The Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, Sandra Lee Kunimoto, issued a quarantine order today which prohibits the company from moving any shrimp off the farm without the authorization of the State Veterinarian. However, since June 12th when symptoms were first noticed, the farm had voluntarily halted any shipments of shrimp from the farm.
Further monitoring will continue and the quarantine order will stay in effect until tests confirm that the facility is disease-free.