ARLINGTON, Va. -- A recent outbreak of a virus that rampaged through shrimp farms in south Texas will have no effect on the supply or price of shrimp in supermarkets, the National Fisheries Institute here confirmed.
An estimated 70% of a shrimp crop that was expected to yield just over three million pounds (heads-off weight) was destroyed by the Taura syndrome virus, according to Bill Chauvin, president of Shrimp World Inc., New Orleans. That accounts for less than one-third of 1% of the annual U.S. supply of about 900 million pounds (heads-off, shell-on weight), he said.
"Our people don't think this is going to have any effect at all," said Kathy Snyder, spokeswoman for NFI. "The amount is so minute compared to overseas import and what is wild caught."
The virus, which affected shrimp farms in the area of Los Fresnos, Texas, has marred shrimp supplies in the past, Snyder added, ruining shrimp stock from key import countries such as Ecuador and China.
"Various forms of that virus have affected shrimp all over the world," said Chauvin. There is no cure or preventive measure for the virus, which originated in the Taura River area of Ecuador. However, if shrimp are "subjected to the virus when they are still in a juvenile state and they survive, they don't have it any more [when they mature]," Chauvin told SN.