Biosecurity is an essential aspect for shrimp farmers to remember in every stage of their cultivation. With proper biosecurity measures, the introduction and spread of pathogenic organisms into the cultivation ecosystem can be mitigated. Thus, these steps should be the priority of every shrimp cultivation.
One of the purposes of biosecurity is pest prevention. Pest refers to all organisms living and growing where they are not wanted. They can cause damage and loss to shrimp farms. In shrimp cultivations, pests can be categorized into 3: predators (shrimp-eating organisms), competitors (competing for area and food), and damaging pests. Biosecurity measures need to be chosen based on the pest category.
Predators that may be present in shrimp farmers include some types of fish, lizards, snakes, and sea birds. Predator fish stock can be found in water introduced into shrimp ponds, while wild animals can gain entry if the farm is not walled.
Prevention of predators can be done with the following biosecurity measures:
Pests that compete for resources in the farm include tadpoles, herbivorous fish, or other shrimp. The competition for sufficient oxygen, feeding area, and food source threatens shrimp growth and cultivation productivity.
Prevention of competitors can be done with the following biosecurity measures:
Cultivation facilities can be damaged by crabs that destroy embankments and puncture holes in plastic layers at the bottom and walls of the pond. Just like predators, crab stock can be introduced into ponds through water or open spaces around the farm.
Prevention of damaging pests can be done with the following biosecurity measures:
Aside from the measures mentioned above, make sure to do regular controls or inspections around your farm to take the necessary actions upon finding pests. Moreover, be reminded that pesticides should not be used as they kill natural food sources, thereby hindering shrimp growth. The water quality at the bottom of the pond will also be compromised and wastewater which contains pesticides will damage the surrounding environment.
If you decide to do chemical treatments for pests, use just as needed and make sure the chemicals do not make it outside of your farm to conserve the surrounding environmental balance.
Avoiding pests is one among many forms of biosecurity in the farm. Don’t forget other important biosecurity measures such as determining the proper stocking density, using SPF and SPR stocks, and implementing strict sanitation protocols for all workers that carry out activities in the farm.
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