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Indiana home to booming seafood business

Indiana home to booming seafood business
Posted at 7:58 AM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 09:59:49-04

FOWLER, Ind. -- There is a new, booming industry right here in the state of Indiana.

It may come as a surprise to hear that our landlocked state is the home to huge seafood operations.

Shrimp is the most preferred type of seafood in the world -- but did you know that Indiana is known for its shrimp?

And not at St. Elmos.

Karlanea Brown is not your typical Indiana farmer.

"Oh, this has totally been unexpected," she said. "We thought we would be lucky to get 5 pounds out our door."

Her family farm is in Fowler, Indiana surrounded by fields, wind turbines and blue skies.

"We know where we live," she said. "We're in the middle of nowhere. And we average about 500 pounds a month of shrimp going out our front door."

The farm grows its own saltwater pacific white shrimp.

They raise shrimp living not in the big blue sea, but big blue swimming pools in northwestern Indiana.

"It's not easy let me tell you -- but it's a lot of fun -- it's just a lot of attention to detail," Brown said.

It's a 7-day-a-week job, with daily water testing as a crucial step in keeping the little guys alive.

RDM Shrimp uses what's called a recirculating system. The farm uses bacteria-based water to get rid of the waste.

The water appears dirty and brown in the tanks. But that brown water is part of the process.

"The reason it's brown is all the feed being held up by suspension by the bacteria," Brown said. "Which the bacteria consume. ... We don't have a filter system like your fish tank would. We discharge none of our water. Our water is going on 6 years old"

Right now there are 12 shrimp farms in Indiana.

"We need help," Brown said. "And so we've help set up 32 shrimp farms across the us and three international. And we are working with some other farms in other countries"

With the wave of popularity in local shrimp, Brown said plans for their own hatchery are in the works.

Then they can be a completely self-sustaining seafood operation -- no ocean necessary.

If you are curious and want to find where closest shrimp farm is to your home, check out the map below.