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UA researches keep shrimp disease-free

Researchers test and certify seafood
Posted at 6:08 AM, Oct 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 09:54:55-04

Do you remember the last time you savored coconut shrimp, shrimp enchiladas or shrimp scampi? Well, it's highly possible that researchers at the University of Arizona gave one of those shrimp's relatives a final stamp of approval.

A group of dozen staff members, including UA students are making sure shrimp are disease-free before they make it to your plate.

Since the early 1970's, the university's Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory is known as the top certification facility for farmed shrimp in the world. Researchers, under the direction of Dr. Arun Dhar, evaluate live shrimp samples from farmers around the world to diagnose infectious diseases and make sure that stock is healthy.

The Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory works with commercial shrimp farming enterprises and research institutions from across the world to diagnose infectious diseases of shrimp and other crustaceans in samples delivered to the UA.

They also test feed ingredients and conduct research and train shrimp disease specialists.

Clients from countries such as China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Ecuador pay for these services, which help them maintain profitability of their industry while also keeping the biosecurity of their products.

According to Dr. Dhar, most of the success of the farmed shrimp business depends on a disease-free product. Current research from the  UA lab show the shrimp business is expected to grow by more than 4 percent every year.

According to Dr. Dhar, 99 percent of the shrimp consumed in our nation comes from other countries.