According to the Young Journalists Club, Dr. Aghil Dashtian Nasab, the head of the Shrimp Research Institute of Iran - Bushehr, described diseases as one of the most important challenges in the shrimp farming industry. He added: Among them, the most important disease that has the greatest effect on farmed shrimp is the white spot disease. He continued: The disease has been present in the shrimp farming industry since 1992 and has caused billions of dollars in damage to the industry worldwide. Of course, part of the production is lost annually due to this disease. The head of the Shrimp Research Institute of Iran - Bushehr stated: In our country, the white spot disease has caused a lot of damage to the provinces that have shrimp farming including Bushehr, Khuzestan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Golestan and Hormozgan provinces.
Imported kits and supply problems
Dr. Dashtian Nasab added: Due to the fact that it is not possible to vaccinate shrimp against this disease, rapid and timely diagnosis of the disease especially in breeding centers and removal of infected shrimp juveniles is the most important way to prevent its spread. He noted that the molecular probes and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - based kits are used for rapid diagnosis of the disease. He said: Due to the lack of domestically produced kits, all aquatic diagnostic laboratories are forced to use imported kits which due to sanctions, in addition to the outflow of millions of dollars of foreign currency from the country, the import of these kits are facing many problems. The head of the Shrimp Research Institute of Iran continued: This year, these problems have intensified due to the increase in the price of foreign currencies in the country, the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID - 19) and the closure of a large number of flights.
Each kit costs 40 million Toman
Dr. Dashtian Nasab stated that each kit is delivered to the laboratory at a cost of 40 million Toman. He added: This high cost will reduce diagnostic tests and ultimately prevent accurate and rapid diagnosis of the disease which may lead to the spread of white spot disease in shrimp farms in the country and cause economic and social damage to the farmers. He continued: In the current situation, shrimp postlarvae are examined for contamination once when they are 5 or 6 days old.
Design of diagnostic kit for domestic production with lower cost and more reliability
The head of the Shrimp Research Institute of Iran pointed out to the production of laboratory diagnostic kits by the researchers of this research institute and added: Researchers have been designing and producing laboratory kits since last year, 80 % of which have been completed. It is expected that by the end of the year we will be able to provide its technical knowledge to the private sector for mass production. Dr. Dashtian Nasab emphasized: The kit in production, in addition to high diagnostic power, can reduce the cost of each test by up to 80 %. With mass production of this kit in the country, the farmers can achieve the healthy postlarvae as one of the main pillars of the shrimp farming industry with less cost and more confidence. Bushehr province is the first producer of farmed shrimp in the country and more than 40 % of the farmed shrimp in the country is produced in this province.