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Shrimp_Bulldozer_Sansom_Andrew_AustinTX_31July2023_Reel4163.mp3

Andy Sansom [00:00:01] So, a huge issue for me in shrimping was the introduction of exotic shrimp in aquaculture.

Andy Sansom [00:00:08] I was sitting in my office one day, and a game warden came in and said that there was a shrimp farm raising these Pacific shrimp down around Port Isabel, and that the employees had entered into some kind of pay dispute with the owners of the shrimp farm. And they'd actually begun, as a matter of spite, releasing these Pacific shrimp into the Laguna Madre.

Andy Sansom [00:00:31] And of course, the fear of that was that they potentially carried all kinds of exotic diseases and other things that would harm our domestic shrimp.

Andy Sansom [00:00:40] And so I basically said, "Get a bulldozer and get down there and close the outfall."

Andy Sansom [00:00:47] And they said, "No, you can't do that."

Andy Sansom [00:00:48] And I said, "Yes, we can."

Andy Sansom [00:00:50] And so without any authorization or anything, the game wardens hired a bulldozer and went to the shrimp farm and closed the outfall.

Andy Sansom [00:00:58] And the reaction to that was universally positive, except that I actually went down to visit the farm sometime later and the employees were afraid of me.

Andy Sansom [00:01:09] I never will forget going in there and having been introduced as the executive director and the reaction was, "Holy shit, this is the guy that bulldozed the outfall shut."

Andy Sansom [00:01:20] But aquaculture was one of the probably the biggest, we felt, was one of the biggest threats to our domestic shrimp, because of the introduction of exotic species and disease and all the other things.