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For Immediate Release: April 16, 2004

Kauai's CEATECH Shrimp Farm Under State Quarantine

HONOLULU - The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) placed an emergency quarantine on Wednesday, April 14, prohibiting the movement of shrimp from CEATECH Plantation on Kauai.  The quarantine order was issued when a positive presumptive test for White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), that causes serious disease in shrimp, was reported.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported the outbreak today to the Office of International Epizooties, the organization concerned with animal health and the international movement of animals.

While WSSV is a highly contagious and fatal disease for shrimp and other crustaceans, it does not pose any threat to human health, even if affected shrimp are consumed. 

As the name suggests, shrimp with the disease may exhibit white spots and rapid death usually follows.  This is the first time that WSSV has been detected in an aquaculture facility in Hawaii.  WSSV outbreaks have been reported in Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines and in Central and South America.

 "Due to the isolation of the farm on Kauai, there is an excellent chance of containing this outbreak and eradicating the disease," said Dr. James Foppoli, State Veterinarian with HDOA. 

According to CEATECH, they noticed a problem in one of their 40 growing ponds on April 1, 2004.  Subsequently, shrimp samples were sent for testing to the Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory at the University of Arizona - Tucson.  A positive presumptive test result was reported to the CEATECH on April 14 and the company reported the situation to the U. S Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services Office in Honolulu, which then notified State Veterinarian, Dr. Foppoli.

 On the evening of April 14, Dr. Foppoli and Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, Sandra Lee Kunimoto, issued a quarantine order which prohibits the company from moving any shrimp off the farm without the authorization of the State Veterinarian.

 Animal disease control veterinarians from the Honolulu office of the USDA and from HDOA delivered the quarantine notice to CEATECH on Thursday, April 15.  The veterinarians also initiated a "Foreign Animal Disease" investigation as required by USDA protocol, which among other things, involves trying to determine the possible source of the infection and prevent the spread of the disease.  Additional samples were taken for testing and they began working with CEATECH on the clean-up plan.  Further monitoring will continue and the quarantine order will stay in effect until tests confirm that the facility is disease-free.


Media contact:

Janelle Saneishi
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Phone: (808) 973-9560