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October 14, 2015
Difficulties with Diseases and the Weather
Over the summer, during the second crop cycle, many shrimp farms in China were hit hard by disease and weather problems, especially Guangxi Province, while Fujian and Hainan Island provinces fared slightly better.
When farmers have a bad year and take ponds out of production, the losses spread to feed mills, broodstock facilities, hatcheries and other suppliers to the industry.
This year a number of farms failed during the first crop cycle, leading to abandon ponds during the second cycle. Some of those who did stock ponds, especially around the city of Zhanjiang, reported very poor results. Chen, a shrimp farmer in Zhanjiang, has 0.4 hectares of ponds. He said, “The shrimp in...[2/3] of the ponds turn out to be dead, while it seems impossible for the remaining shrimps to grow larger. This is frustrating.”
Shrimp farmers in Guangxi also encountered problems during the first and second crop cycles of 2015. Lin, a very experienced farmer in Guangxi, said, “The situation is tough in the first round of farming this year. Only two to three farmers out of 100 have succeeded in their aquaculture, which is a very low success rate. So some farmers are too worried to stock seedlings in the middle round. And although most of the stocked seedlings have survived for over 30 days, they grow very slowly.”
In Guangdong and Guangxi provinces, about 70% to 80% of hatcheries have seen decreases in their postlarvae sales, and it is difficult for them to rebound. The situation is better in the Yangtze River Delta. The total sales volume of postlarvae was around four billion during the first half of 2015, and half the sales were in the Yangtze River Delta and Shandong and Tianjin provinces. The sales volumes were said to decrease by about 20% in Guangdong Province and the Pearl River Delta during the first half of the year.
The disappointing sales are closely related to the percentage of empty shrimp ponds. Many farmers in Zhanjiang, Yangjiang and Dianbai are said to have given up during the second cycle and left their ponds empty.
In early October 2015, Rainbow Typhoon hit the city of Zhanjiang, severely damaging shrimp ponds and industry infrastructure.
Heavy rain and winds knocked out power and communications in Zhanjiang. Many ponds were flooded or destroyed in the areas close to the sea. Inland ponds survived because there was less rainfall there, and the drainage was better, however, the loss of electricity led to the loss of aeration in some ponds, which resulted in the death of some shrimp. What’s worse, a large number of shrimp are likely to die from the changes in temperature, algae and salinity, caused by the continual rainfall after the typhoon.
The typhoon did not affect shrimp farms on Hainan Island, where ponds had been stocked with postlarvae for 30 or 40 days, however, farmers there are now worried about feed shortages because many of their mills are located in Zhanjiang, which was hit hard by the typhoon.
Shrimp farmers are split on what to do during the third cycle of shrimp farming. A few intend to give up, while many have started to prepare for the winter crop in hope of a good harvest and higher prices. Overall, China is likely to be a big shrimp importer for the rest of the year! The winter growing season may attract fewer farmers than usual because of their bad experiences and big losses during the first two cycles.
Over the past two months, hot weather, high water temperatures and the rapid growth of algae have had a bad effect on shrimp growth in South China. Chen, a shrimp farmer for over a decade, said the deteriorating quality of shrimp postlarvae has also been a big problem.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email email@example.com). Big Difficulties with Disease in China’s Shrimp Production Exacerbated by Recent Typhoon. John Sackton. Translation by Amy Zhong. October 14, 2015.
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