Fish shipments arriving dead

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Fish importers in South Carolina are claiming that cargo handlers in Atlanta have caused delays leading to the deaths of thousands of ornamental fish.

According to a report from ABC New Charleston, local aquarium retailers are claiming that fish shipments are being neglected by cargo handlers at Atlanta.

"I'm having to throw away hundreds and hundreds of fish arrive here dead, all because they are being neglected in Atalanta", Chris Deer of Tideline Aquatics told ABC.

Deer told ABC that cargo handlers were leaving the boxes of aquarium fish in the airport tarmac for up to 48 hours, sometimes in freezing temperatures.

Brian Vaughn of Aquatic Imports International told ABC: "The fish get from Indonesia to California with no problems. But they can't get from California to Charleston, all because of Atlanta.

"I'll go out of business. If I can't get the fish shipments in, I'll go out of business."

Three retailers told ABC that problems began in December. The stores claim to have been told by Delta cargo representatives, that Delta recently employed independent contractors to handle freight.

The stores claim to have lost over 3000 fish, worth over $10,000 at wholesale prices. Since Delta is the only freight company large enough to handle fish imports, the retailers are unable to move to alternative suppliers.

Delta declined to comment to ABC.