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by Anthony C. Ostrowski, Ph.D., director, U.S. Marine Shrimp Farming Program

The Consortium was formed in 1984 to identify and solve problems that constrain the profitability and expansion of the U.S. marine shrimp farming industry. It oversees the U.S. Marine Shrimp Farming program, which allows leading investigators and their institutions, in partnership with industry, to engage in focused, results-oriented projects directed at developing biologically, economically, and environmentally sustainable shrimp farming in the United States. Member institutions include the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Oceanic Institute, Tufts University, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Waddell Mariculture Center, Texas A & M University’s Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Arizona, and Nicholls State University.

To date, the farming program has:
1) established the world’s first and currently most advanced breeding and genetic selection program for marine shrimp;
2) completed pioneering research and development of advanced diagnostic tools for disease screening and control;
3) described the etiology of shrimp diseases associated with viral pathogens;
4) fostered shrimp production at near-shore, inland/rural farm and even desert sites;
5) served a lead role in the Joint Subcommittee on aquaculture’s efforts to assess the threat of globally transported shrimp pathogens;
6) served on the Office of International Epizootics, recommending country-of-origin labeling of imported shrimp products to combat the spread of exotic disease pathogens, subsequently adopted by the USDA in its 2002 Farm Bill;
7) supplied the U.S. industry with selectively bred and disease-resistant shrimp stocks;
8) developed advanced technology for bio-secure shrimp production systems to protect both cultured and native wild stocks from disease; and
9) developed new feed formulations to minimize waste generation and enhance the use of domestic grains and oilseed products.

More information about the farming program can be found on www.usmfsp.org. Internships are available for journalistic research and writing for the program’s quarterly newsletter, Industry Briefs, and on the Web site.


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