PHU YEN – White-leg shrimp died en masse for unknown reasons in 200 hectares of shrimp farm in central Phu Yen Province's Tuy An District over the past week.
This caused local shrimp farmers a financial loss of VND120 billion (US$5.7 million).
Pham Thi Thuy Le, vice chairwoman of the district People's Committee, said that almost all communes in the district have dead shrimp.
An Hoa Commune, where up to 98 per cent of the total shrimp population is dead, suffered the most damage, she said.
Bui Van Du, a local shrimp farmer, said that he had to sell the rest of the one-month-old shrimp in his 1.5-ha farm to regain VND70 million (US$3,300).
"If the shrimp had not died, I would have harvested them two months later and gained a net profit of VND1 billion ($48,000)," he said.
Each kilo of shrimp now costs VND83,000 ($4), he said.
When local shrimp farmers saw their crustaceans redden, start to float, and die overnight, they suspected the shrimp had succumbed to a virus. Le, vice chairwoman of the committee, said that the cause might be Hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV).
Previously, the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department made a recommendation to local shrimp farmers about the virus, she said.
However, the local health animal department still does not have a treatment plan for the virus, she said.
In the short term, the district People's Committee has directed relevant and authorised agencies to spray chemicals to control the spread of the virus and minimise the loss for local shrimp farmers. – VNS