Keywords: aquaculture, aquacultural biotechnology, shrimp industry, Thailand, P monodon, black tiger shrimp, shrimp disease prevention, diagnostic kits, public policy, broodstock, policy lessons, shrimp clusters, cultivated shrimps, cultivation pond management
Aquacultural biotechnology in Thailand: the case of the shrimp industry
For the past decade, Thailand has been the leading exporter of shrimp and shrimp products to the world market and the income generated contributes substantially to the Thai economy. There are more than one million people employed directly or indirectly by the industry. At present, there is forceful competition due to price differences among major shrimp growing countries and due to new regulations resulting from consumer demands about product safety and environmental friendliness. In addition, various new disease threats have emerged, making management of shrimp cultivation ponds more complex. In the face of these pressures, Thailand has succeeded in maintaining its position as the leading exporter of cultivated shrimp. This paper describes the strategies that have evolved to fuel this success. Changes in the government's role, public policy and support mechanisms, particularly via the industry cluster approach, are considered to be important driving factors.