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Shrimp prices skyrocket due to virus in Asia
BEAUMONT-By Jennifer Gordy
Shrimp lovers are reeling as prices for the small sea creatures are
skyrocketing. The reason boils down to supply and demand.
Seafood Lover owner, Stevie Edwards, says,"I've been doing it 35 years and I've never seen this kind of jump."
Edwards is in the seafood business and he's talking about the price of shrimp. Edwards says over the past year prices have increased one hundred percent, if not more. Andrea Hance, Executive Director of the Texas Shrimp Association, says there are a number of reasons why shrimp prices are increasing. Consumers are demanding better quality, decreased inventory in the Gulf and fewer imports from Asia.
Edwards explains, "The farms had a virus that got in and infected the farms and killed all the shrimp and the United States. The second biggest deficit item next to oil is seafood that we import into the U.S."
Following news reports of various problems affecting shrimp and seafood, restaurant owner Emily Summers says customers want to know the seafood they are eating is safe. Summers says, "It makes people question quality of seafood with oil spill and with issues with the water. It's safe. It's definitely safe to consume seafood."
Summers says Sartin's West only buys seafood locally that comes from the Gulf. So, she is convinced of the good quality. Summers says, "Most people who come in here are local. So, they know it's safe and seafood is just expensive. But, rising prices, oil spills, and viruses, are not stopping Southeast Texans from buying shrimp. Edwards says, "They're still buying it. Some people might back off and not buy as much or cut back on size." The sea creature we associate with small, remains the biggest seller in the industry.