During the 20th century, L. vannamei was an important species for Mexican inshore fishermen, as well as for trawlers further offshore. In the late 20th century, the wild fishery was overtaken by the use of aquaculture; this began in 1973 in Florida using prawns captured in Panama. In Latin America, the culture of L. vannamei showed peaks of production during the warm El Niño years, and reduced production during the cooler La Niña years, due to the effects of disease. Production of L. vannamei is limited by its susceptibility to various diseases, including white spot syndrome, Taura syndrome, infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis, baculoviral midgut gland necrosis, and Vibrio infections. By 2004, global production of L. vannamei approached 1,116,000 t, and exceeded that of Penaeus monodon.
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