If like me you enjoy seafood and particularly shrimps, you will be pleased to hear some recent news concerning shrimps and the shrimp farming industry in Asia.

Until now two diseases called the white spot and the hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome or AHPNS have decimated the shrimp population in parts of Asia causing wide spread increases in prices and concerns over the continued farming of these small creatures, and many families livelihood.

AHPNS is an aggressive bacteriophage; killing shrimps in less than 30 days. A bacteriophage can be described as a disease infected with a virus. In other circumstances phages have been recognised for their ability to kill off the host bacteria very much like taking a course of antibiotics. In this instance however the bacteria and phage take over the shrimps gastrointestinal  tract releasing toxins and creating a malfunction and tissue destruction, eventually ending in mortality. The death rate has been quite alarming and ranges from just a couple of weeks through to a month.

Scientists have since been drafted in, in large numbers to try and suggest a number of solutions to this problem.

One method has been to treat the farms with solutions of nano silver, and tests so far look promising. The nano silver solutions can effectively kill a number of diseases including white spot and AHPNS and it is also showing positive signs of reducing the growth of Blue-Green Algae, which too can affect shrimps.

I'm not very sure of the long term safety effects of using nano silver in shrimp farming and its legacy in the human food chain, this is an area the scientists are currently researching.