Recurring disease has taken a heavy toll on Thai shrimp yields
Thai shrimps have been affected by early mortality syndrome (EMS), which has severely dented yields since 2012, leading to dependence on imports, the Thai Shrimp Association said.
The association’s president, Ekapoj Yodpinit, said that
Thailand used to produce more than 630,000 tons of shrimp, but now produces only 280,000 tons worth 43 billion baht. The output was not enough to meet the needs of factories, he said, as a result shrimp has to be imported before it is processed for export.
The reduced output has led to loss of exports worth more than 500 billion baht, or an average loss of 100 billion baht per year for the past decade.
Thailand was the No. 1 shrimp exporter, but has now slid to sixth place. Ecuador, India and Vietnam have become major exporters.
The global shrimp market still acknowledges and has faith in the quality of Thai shrimp, said Ekapot.
The Thai Shrimp Association and partners in the shrimp industry have proposed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to formulate guidelines for the development of the aquaculture industry to ensure sustainability for the country.
The association wants the Department of Fisheries to urgently research and find cures for three major diseases – EMS, white faeces, and red and white spots – which are serious problems that destroy shrimp farms.
The department has to research to produce disease-resistant young shrimp, an effective diet, and organise an appropriate raising system.
Shrimp disease problems have resulted in an increase in the cost of production by about 160 baht per kg (100 shrimps), close to the selling price, he said
The association expects a suitable output of 400,000 tons per year.
If the plans succeed, the shrimp output will be sufficient to meet the demands of Thai processing plants within two years. It will free the country from the need to import shrimp and farmers would be able to sell at a satisfactory price, said Ekapot.