Black Gill Disease Threatens Georgia Shrimp

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Associated Press Release

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- This year was looking like a windfall for Georgia shrimpers. The production of Asian farmed shrimp was down after a bacterial infection swept through Thailand's ponds. The resulting shortage of imports drove prices up.

That's not how it's panning out.

Instead of celebrating, Georgia shrimpers are finding so few shrimp they're planning to petition for disaster status. And they're looking for answers to what's devastating the catch from Charleston, S.C. to Jacksonville, Fla., a shrimp disease called black gill.

The Savannah Morning News reports ( that the condition, in which shrimp develop black spots on their gills, first showed up in Georgia shrimp in the 1990s. The last several years have been bad ones. This year up to 90 percent of the shrimp in some trawls have been infected.

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