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Over 10 shrimp and crayfish farms in Taiwan report cases of mysterious virus from China

Significant number of crustaceans culled across Taiwan after being infected with China’s DIV1 virus

Several Taiwanese shrimp farms severely affected by DIV1 virus. (Pixabay photo)

Several Taiwanese shrimp farms severely affected by DIV1 virus. (Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — More than 10 shrimp and crayfish hatcheries across Taiwan have reported cases of a mysterious new virus from China, resulting in tens of thousands of the crustaceans being culled under the supervision of the Council of Agriculture (COA).

The COA said Wednesday (June 17) that a deadly new virus known as decapod iridescent virus 1 (DIV1) has wreaked havoc on China's shrimp farming industry recently and that it has now spread to Taiwan. Out of the 30 shrimp and crayfish farms where testing has been carried out, more than 10 have been found to have infected crops.

In late April, Japanese media reported that an unknown iridescent virus had re-emerged in China's Guangdong province after being first detected in Fujian province in 2014. Reports pointed out that DIV1 could infect shrimps at all stages of growth and had a mortality rate of 80 percent, according to ETtoday.

At present, scientists have yet to collect enough information about the highly contagious virus, but it is not known to infect humans.

COA Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said that so far, infections have been seen in Hsinchu County, New Taipei City, Yilan County, Kaohsiung City, and Yunlin County, and the farm owners had been ordered to cull all affected crops to stop the disease from spreading. He noted that a press conference would be held on Thursday (June 18) to address the issue.

Huang confirmed that approximately 1,207 kg of Australian crayfish and 201,000 larval shrimps have been eradicated in Hsinchu while 973 kg of shrimps in Yilan have also been culled. He promised that the council would compensate shrimp farmers for their losses as well as strengthen aquaculture management in the country, reported CNA.