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A convenient polyculture system that controls a shrimp viral disease with a high transmission rate


Developing ecological approaches for disease control is critical for future sustainable aquaculture development. White spot syndrome (WSS), caused by white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), is the most severe disease in cultured shrimp production. Culturing specific pathogen-free (SPF) broodstock is an effective and widely used strategy for controlling WSS. However, most small-scale farmers, who predominate shrimp aquaculture in developing countries, cannot cultivate SPF shrimp, as they do not have the required infrastructure and skills. Thus, these producers are more vulnerable to WSS outbreaks than industrial farms. Here we developed a shrimp polyculture system that prevents WSS outbreaks by introducing specific fish species. The system is easy to implement and requires no special biosecurity measures. The promotion of this system in China demonstrated that it allowed small-scale farmers to improve their livelihood through shrimp cultivation by controlling WSS outbreaks and increasing the production of ponds.

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