Global Gen Genomics: Driving Asian Shrimp Culture Forward

The shrimp farming industry is being shaped by genomics as faster growing and more disease tolerant strains are developed, including in Asia where several producers are improving their breeding stock. One such company, PT Bibit Unggul, has for the last 10 years been developing Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) breeding stocks of P.vannamei at its facility in Lombok, Indonesia.

After many years as the most-traded fishery product, shrimp are now second in value terms, contributing about 15.3% of global trade in 2014 (SOFIA, 2016). Volume-wise, production has increased from less than 1 million tonnes in 1991 to more than 3.5 million tonnes in 2015. Since the turn of the new millennium the growth has been even more impressive, with volume rising by about 300% from 2001 to 2011. Much of this commodity is dominated by Asian farmers who produce more than 80% of total output.

The expansion in the industry has been largely due to the introduction of the Pacific White Shrimp Penaeus vannamei which was introduced from the western hemisphere into Taiwan in 1998. At that time, Asian production was dominated by tiger shrimp (Panaeus monodon), stocks of which were badly effected due to widespread disease.

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Source: Infofish International 6/2016

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