Philippines stops live Asian shrimp imports
The Philippines has stopped the importation of live shrimps to prevent the spread of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS)—now prevalent in neighboring countries—among local species, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said Tuesday.
BFAR Director Asis Perez said EMS is prevalent in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Indonesia. “We are dealing with a disease unknown to us, all the more that measures must be undertaken,” he said.
An EMS infected shrimp usually dies within the first 30 days of its life, according to the bureau.
It also banned the entry of crabs and lobsters which can carry and transmit the disease. The bureau said it is also monitoring the spread of EMS in Singapore, Myanmar, Brunei and Cambodia.
“The Philippines remains EMS-free as of the moment and BFAR is exhausting all efforts to remain so,” Perez noted. While the cause of EMS is still unknown, BFAR said infected samples exhibit slow growth, corkscrew swimming and pale coloration.