The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in cooperation with the Brazil’s Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services/MDIC, The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply/MAPA and the Brazilian Association of Shrimp Growers/ABCC, is tackling Infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNv), one of the most serious pathogens, affecting cultured whiteleg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei). Penaeus vannamei is a very important culture commodity with a global production worth almost USD 19 billion. This event, 4-day workshop, which started yesterday, is being carried out through an FAO Project “FAO – TCP/INT/3501: Strengthening biosecurity governance and capacities” for dealing with the serious shrimp infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNv) disease. The workshop is sharing information on Emergency Preparedness and Response Systems in the 6 participating countries and is developing a Disease Strategy Plan for IMNv. During the next three days, the workshop will prepare an active surveillance design for IMNv and a framework for developing a National Strategy on Aquatic Animal Health. The workshop will also deliberate on appropriate export/import sanitary measures/actions for live shrimp and shrimp products from countries that are free and countries that are not free from IMNv, as well as practical application of biosecurity zoning and maintenance of disease free status. Some 25 delegates representing China (Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences), Ecuador (National Fisheries Institute), Indonesia (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries), Mexico (National Health Service, Food Safety and Quality), Thailand (Department of Fisheries), FAO experts from Canada, Chile and the USA and local Brazilians representing the government, producer and academic sectors are participating in this important event. A half-day Technical Seminar for Aquaculture Stakeholders will also be held tomorrow to share country and expert experiences on important shrimp diseases and other emerging issues affecting aquaculture.

Dr Rodrigo Roubach, in welcoming the delegates, pointed out the work that been developed by the Brazilian shrimp industry alongside with the government towards better governance and improving the management and health status of the shrimp sector, especially in facing the challenges posed by shrimp diseases. In this regard, the present FAO TCP project is extremely important for better understanding of these challenges and closer cooperation amongst the main world shrimp producers in order provide more efficient and systematic response to future disease outbreaks through improved sector governance.

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