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Deadly virus threatens Phl shrimp industry

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Friday warned against the existence of a deadly virus that may kill the country's shrimp industry.

BFAR Dagupan regional director Nestor Domenden said farmers and scientists have recently detected the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) from shrimps in some farms in Visayas and Mindanao.

Domenden said that the virus can wipe out all shrimps in a farm in only two to three days and the contagion can eventually cripple the country's shrimp industry.

The Philippines is currently the third largest exporter of shrimps in the world.

He urged farmers to maintain hygiene and sanitation and check whether their shrimps have white spots on heads and tails, which is a sign of infection of the WSSV.

The virus is believed to have originated from unregistered farms in Pangasinan or Zambales.

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Domenden said that the BFAR has been holding consultative meetings with stakeholders and fishery technicians on ways to prevent the virus from spreading.

The BFAR also appealed to owners of unregistered hatcheries to legalize their operations so the government can check whether they are adopting proper standards and hygiene practices.

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