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Environmentally Friendly Shrimp Farm

US - Don Smith has 100,000 green shrimp in his acre backyard pond in Pritchardville that he hopes one day will be able to compete with imported shrimp.

His shrimp are actually white in color; the green means they're on the way to becoming certified as organic because of what they eat.

"The idea is to try and combine natural productivity with new and innovative feeds that meet organic standards to produce environmentally friendly shrimp," DNR biologist Craig Browdy told the Charlotte Observer.

According to the news agency, the farm is an experiment being conducted with the help of the Waddell Mariculture Center in Bluffton. Waddell, a marine research facility of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, won a $435,000 federal grant two years ago that paid for the research and shrimp farming project, which offers an alternative to traditional shrimping.

Most farm-raised shrimp are fed fish meal, Browdy said. But Smith's shrimp are being fed an organic diet of algae oils, soybean and wheat products, vitamins and amino acids. The organic diet replaces the nutrients found in the fish meal, which contains fatty acids good for human heart and brain development, Browdy said.

"The benefit for growers is it gives them an advantage over an imported product," Browdy said. In order to compete, whether you are a shrimper or a farmer, you've got to be able to produce something that's different - quality, local, fresh and healthy."