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Aquaculture farm soon to be shrimp source

US - In a few months the shrimp on the hook at the end of your line may be seeing the outside environment for the first time in its short life.

OceanBoy Farms, a high-tech aquaculture operation outside Clewiston, will start selling live bait shrimp to distributors in about two months when its first crop gets big enough to tempt a fish, said Tom Hayes, chief financial officer of OceanBoy.

"They’re not big enough yet, but almost," he said, adding that OceanBoy is already selling packages of frozen shrimp to bait stores.

Unlike the Pacific white shrimp that make up most of OceanBoy’s production, Hayes said, "The live ones are definitely a local variety because we would not have even for a moment thought to insert a non-indigenous species into the wild."

Customers are expected to be mainly distributors, he said, although a few nearby bait stores may buy direct.