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Texas—Paradise Shrimp Farm Suspects Poisoning


September 10, 2014


Shrimp News: A two-minute video accompanies this article, but I could not get the sound to work, even though it did work in the advertisement that preceded the video.


The Cameron County Sheriff’s Department has opened an investigation into possible foul play at Paradise Seafood’s shrimp farm in Arroyo City, where more than 250,000 shrimp have died since June, according to Leo Cheng who owns the farm.


His seafood product gets packed elsewhere and is sold to seafood markets and grocery stores in Texas and across the United States.


Sheriff Omar Lucio said Cheng, who estimates loses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, is “concerned that maybe somebody is out to get him or is jealous.”  “I can’t find a reason why the shrimp are dying,” Cheng said.  “No disease.  The water quality is no problem.  Why did my shrimp die?”


Cheng said a shrimp sample sent to the University of Arizona by Texas Parks and Wildlife tested negative for any poisonous chemicals.


His suspicions increased over the weekend when he found a dead seagull near a shrimp pond.  It was sent to a different lab for testing.  “Why did a seagull eat a shrimp and die?” Cheng asked.


Deputies said Cheng owns 26 out of the 85 ponds at the shrimp farm in Arroyo City.  Investigators want to find out if any other pond owners experienced losses to the extent of Cheng’s.  Cheng said none of the other shrimp farmers like him, and that might have caused some foul play.


Cheng said all the shrimp farms in the area use the exact same water resource.  He said he took a pond water sample to a Brownsville lab but was later notified that they could not test the water for the chemicals he was requesting.


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is reportedly involved in the investigation, according to Cheng.  The sheriff vowed to get answers.  “We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” he said.  Lab results on the dead seagull are pending from Texas A&M University.


Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is urged contact the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department.


Source: ValleyCentral.Com. Shrimp Farm Owner in Arroyo City Suspects ‘Poisoning’ in Mass Die-Off.  Ryan Wolf (email  September 8. 2014.

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