This is an exciting time for the study of biotechnology related to shrimp rearing. Up to now, basic knowledge regarding the major cultivated shrimp species has lagged far behind the technical innovations that have led to successful intensification of culture and to ever increasing world produc-tion. However, rearing problems and sometimes catastrophic farm losses have forced the realization that the lack of basic knowledge must be redressed if the causes of lost production are to be deter-mined and rectified so that high levels of production can be maintained.
Furthermore, since shrimp farming is a potentially self-polluting industry, it is well understood that sustaining high production levels will also require further innovation to minimize its adverse environmental impacts. Biotech-nology will play a central role in helping us to understand the shrimp and to improve all aspects of rearing practice. The contributions in this volume show that an international effort in the field is already yielding beneficial returns to the industry.