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Shrimp Prices Soaring As Disease Takes Bite Out Of Supply

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Shrimp at Anastasi's Seafood in the Italian Market. (Credit: Michelle Durham)

Shrimp at Anastasi’s Seafood in the Italian Market. (Credit: Michelle Durham)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If it seems as though shrimp prices are up at your local store, it’s not your imagination. There is a disease that is affecting the supply of the crustaceans in Thailand, China and Vietnam.

Vice President of Anastasi Seafood Janet Anastasi-Stechman has been involved in her family’s Italian Market-based business for over 30 years.

“From what I understand there are problems with the farm raised shrimp and that I’d imagine is driving the price of the wild shrimp up.”

E. Frank Hopkins Seafood’s frozen food Buyer Elio Olizi agrees.

“There is something called E.M.S. (early mortality syndrome) going on in Thailand and their production is down 55 percent, which has a lot to do with the reason why the shrimp market is where it is.”

But both say people are still buying shrimp.

“In the summertime, people have a tendency to eat more seafood,” Anastasi-Stechman says.

Olizi says seafood is a healthy food option, “We get many customers looking for healthy options — something low fat — obviously shrimp is a great option.”

As for the disease, Olizi says the strict U.S. food laws protect folks from eating the sickened shrimp.

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