Fisheries Department on alert for widespread diseases in prawns


PATHUM THANI, Nov 22 – Thailand’s Fisheries Department is on high alert watching out for widespread diseases in prawns during the change of season from rainy to cool, after numbers of dead prawns have been found in some areas. 

Fisheries director-general Wimol Jantrarotai said at a seminar that the changing weather is dangerous to the health of the aquatic creature.

According to statistics, damage from prawn diseases to shrimp farming nationwide has so far counted for 11 per cent losses, reducing production from 520,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes this year. Prawns produced in October alone decreased 6 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

Mr Wimol said prawns initially die within a month after being put in water wells with pale livers, dark chests, and inflammation.

Diseases found are white spot disease, yellow head disease (YHD), and could also be diagnosed as Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS). Academics are speeding up their research to find the cause of death, and said that EMS has never been found in Thailand, but was seen in Vietnam, Malaysia, and China.

Mr Wimol said the situation is still controllable and not yet considered as an epidemic, for it is mostly found the eastern provinces of Rayong and Chanthaburi.

Fisheries specialists are collecting prawn samples to examine and are monitoring the situation with prawn farmers for more efficient disease prevention.