CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL- A horrific act of vandalism.
Tens of thousands of dollars worth of Tilapia suffocated at a Charlotte County fish farm.
Thousands and thousands of fish.
The owner of Royal Tila Farms raises them in these tubs for sale.
Frances Dames says, "We were doing fairly well, and we were just ready to start selling fish after about a year and a half of growing them up."
Dames never got a chance.
Someone ripped the pipes that supply the fish with oxygen out of the wall.
"The pipes that were pulled out were these ones here, on the back."
Reporter Sarah Pusateri says, "These fish are the only adult survivors of the nearly 10 thousand pounds of tilapia, targeted by vandals."
"He must have known what he was doing, and it just killed off all the fish."
Here is cell phone video taken by an employee of the fish kill estimated to be 25 thousand dollars worth in just Tilapia.
"It definitely had to be somebody involved in the project who knew what they were doing."
A project that Dames says, cost 700 thousand dollars, a huge chunk of his life savings.
"This is something I've got to do for immigration , I've got my residency visa in the states, and by the end of two years I have to have the fish farm running and be employing 10 people, so this is really nerve wracking."
And possibly devastating.
"These are the baby fishes."
Now these fish need time to grow, and in this business like in so many, time is money.