While the Asian shrimp farming industry has finally rebounded to the production volumes of the pre-early mortality syndrome (EMS) days, it is now facing the new threat of inefficiency, made worse by building competition from South American producers.

Robins McIntosh, executive vice president for technical development of shrimp culture with Thai food giant Charoen Pokphand Group, provided a stark warning at the recent InfoFish Shrimp conference in Kuala Lumpur: "We have to look at recovery in terms of efficiency, rather than just volumes, and that’s where we need innovation," he said.