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« เมื่อ: พฤศจิกายน 01, 2006, 10:37:27 PM »

Source: Phuket Post  World News    1/11/2006 21:35:15


Henry Wang has a plan. It’s the kind of long-considered, well-researched and yet fiendishly simple plan that is likely to revolutionise his industry – shrimp farming.

At the time of going to print, Mr Wang, a slight yet vibrant Taiwanese gentleman who calls Phuket home, was addressing the collected members of the Thai Marine Shrimp Association in Surat Thani, in the hope that they would endorse his plan and perhaps find a way to help finance it.

The shrimp industry is worth US$2 billion a year to Thailand.

In fact Thailand is the world’s number one exporter of shrimp. But only 10% of the 20 million tons of shrimp Thailand exports is caught fresh from the sea.

The rest is farmed. But of the millions of tons of shrimp that makes it to the dinner tables, far more is lost due to viral infection.

In fact this has been a growing problem for Thailand’s industry for the past 30 years.

Globally the UN FAO believes that viral infection costs the industry in excess of US$5 billion annually Shrimp farmers have tried many ways to keep the fiendish virus – called WSSV – at bay.

Some may recall that a few years back 20,000 tons of shrimp from Thailand was refused entry into the US because of an excess of antibiotics.

Mr Wang claims that now farmers would rather farm their shrimp two months early, when barely half grown, to avoid losing the whole batch to WSSV.

The problem, Mr Wang believes, is that scientists have been applying the wrong pathology to shrimp.

While culls of sheep and cows during an outbreak of foot and mouth might be the best way to deal with such diseases, Mr Wang thinks that the way to approach the shrimp virus issue is through selective breeding.

His argument is that, by bringing a batch of shrimp into contact with the virus and then taking out those that survive the outbreak, and then continuing this procedure with the later, stronger shrimp, it will be possible to eventually breed a shrimp that will be genetically resistant to the WSSV – a Specific Pathogens Resistant strain of shrimp that would likely double Thailand’s export potential while reducing both losses and the costs involved.

As simple as it sounds, it has taken Mr Wang years to be able to prove his theory, and he has yet to push it as far as full growth.

The next step will belong to the industry, but Mr Wang is ready and willing to help them take it.

 
 
 
 
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