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Deadly virus infect Taiwanese shrimp, crayfish crops

June 24, 2020  By Nestor Arellano

A new virus is spreading across shrimp and crayfish farms in Taiwan. Out of the 30 farms so far tested by authorities, at least 16 have been found to be infected by a virus known as decapod iridescent virus 1 (DIV1).

Very little is known about DIV1 but it is confirmed to be highly contagious although it does not infect humans, according to a report from Taiwan News.

However, the virus is reported to attack shrimp at all stages of their growth. The news outlet said that tens of thousands of the crustaceans are being culled under the supervision  Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture (COA).

Of the 16 farms, two king prawn farms are in New Taipei City, while the other king prawn farm and one giant tiger prawn farm are in Yilan County, COA Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng told a news conference in Taipei.


Seven of the crayfish farms are in Pingtung County, and the rest are in New Taipei City and Kaohsiung, as well as Hsinchu, Nantou and Yunlin counties, he added.

The council had notified customs to also test imported shrimp and prawns for DIV1, according to Taipei Times.

The crayfish, shrimp and prawn industry grosses more than US$134.9 million per year.

The COA said it will compensate farms for the crayfish, shrimp and prawns destroyed due to DIV1.

The Fisheries Institute and the Animal Health Research Institute will aid farmers in rehabilitating their ponds, Huang said.

Huang advised aquaculture farmers to start the rehabilitation process by draining their ponds for six months to a year before raising crayfish, shrimp and prawns again.

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