China on alert as white spot found in airport shrimp seizure

Published on
September 8, 2017

Quarantine authorities in China are on alert after white spot disease was confirmed in a batch of shrimp seized from luggage taken from a returning tourist at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai. 

Inspections of tourist luggage and of packages will be stepped up after laboratory tests on the seized shrimp  – which originated in the Philippines – showed the disease, according to a statement from China’s national quarantine body. 

The statement was accompanied by a photo of the seizure, which included shrimp, crabs, and a red-orange colored fish species which is not identified. It’s not clear if the seafood was brought in by an unwitting tourist or one of the many travelers seeking to profit from sales of merchandise purchased overseas and undeclared at customs.

China has over the past year focused on this phenomenon of ‘daigou’ (literally translated as ‘bring shoppers’) who have been targeted for evading customs duties. Several infestations of white spot disease caused serious damage to Chinese shrimp farms in recent years, making detection of the virus a priority for the country’s authorities. 

Contributing Editor reporting from Beijing, China

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