Taking the dip into white shrimp: New aquaculture business growing seafood staple near Sudbury.

Author:McKinley, Karen

There's a new player in northeastern Ontario's aquaculture industry, and they are bringing the bounty of the Pacific Ocean to the region.

If all goes well, GOOD4Ushrimp --located in Estaire, about a 30-minute drive southeast of Sudbury--will become the third Pacific white shrimp farm in Canada to provide fresh shrimp to consumers as early as this summer or early fall.

While shrimp is a common seafood product, what will make this shrimp unique, and better, according to partner Kerry LeBreton, is freshness, as well as being healthier for consumers and better for the environment.

"Most current global shrimp farming practices raise concerns about safe shrimp consumption, environmental damage and forced labour in the seafood trade," he said. "We are happy to be a part of a movement that has a focus on clean food within ecologically sustainable and ethical practices."

The company is still putting the finishing touches on parts of the 18,000-square-foot facility. But, for the past several weeks people have been coming to the farm looking to order and purchase.

"Demand is there. I knew it was there for a long time, so we decided to start farming shrimp in this part of the country," LeBreton said. "We are bringing health-conscious, quality shrimp to the market."

The facility isn't open to the public at this time, and the area in the building where the shrimp will be farmed is restricted for bio-security reasons.

The farm will receive hundreds of thousands of post larvae in the coming weeks in order to fill all the tanks within the facility.

When they arrive at the farm they are roughly the size of a human eyelash.

It is now a matter of nurturing the larvae. The shrimp that will be sold will be around 22 grams.

LeBreton said he was hoping to have larvae earlier, but last November's hurricanes devastated hatcheries in Texas and Florida, where most of North America's post larvae come from.

The supply chain is often poor in the winter months, due to cooler temperatures.

Once the farm is operational, LeBreton explained people will be able to order their shrimp online and come pick it up at specified times.

"Our shrimp will be head-on, tail-on, fresh, never frozen from our farm to your table," he said. "The quality of shrimp (currently imported by Canada) is not good. Much of the shrimp we get comes from halfway around the world and they've been frozen up to two or three times."

Most of the world's Pacific white shrimp supply comes from Asia. As the...

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