Biosecurity, or "hazard reduction through environmental manipulation" (Plumb, 1992), is often defined as practices that reduce the number of pathogens that enter a facility. Biosecurity is the concept of protecting culture animals from contamination by diseases and of preventing the spread of diseases across boundaries, has become increasingly important with the intensification of aquaculture production systems. A significant challenge to the expansion of aquaculture production is the outbreak of disease. Potential economic losses from disease outbreaks are significant, and can affect the survival of the industry. The occurrence of disease is a combination of the health of the animal, the condition of the environment, and the presence of a pathogen. The shrimp industry has to implement a biosecure production system to prevent the spread of infectious disease among farms. By implementing biosecurity, the risk of pathological events will be reduced.
Biosecurity in shrimp farming
In general, biosecurity is more easily implemented in small, intensive, and controlled farming systems than in outdoor and large-scale operations. Biosecurity measures in the shrimp industry can be seen as a two-pronged approach: excluding pathogens and eliminating pathogens when they are present. Lightner (2003) discussed ways of excluding pathogens from stock (i.e., post larvae and broodstock), especially through the use of quarantine and specific pathogen-free (SPF) certified stocks, and restricting imports of live and frozen shrimp. Excluding vectors and external sources of contamination and preventing internal cross contamination were suggested methods for excluding pathogens from hatcheries and farms.