Company brings shrimp farming to Pennsauken, NJ

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Company brings shrimp farming to Pennsauken, NJ
Company brings shrimp farming to Pennsauken, NJ. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on August 8, 2017.

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- The middle of an urban area is not where you'd expect to farm shrimp. But a warehouse in Pennsauken, Camden County, lined with 2,500 gallon water tanks, is home to The Big Shrimp Co. and, on any given day, a half million shrimp in various stages of development.

"We get our post-larvae shrimp from Islamorada, Florida. On a monthly basis, we get about 150 to 200,000 shrimp," co-owner John DiPietropolo said.

DiPietropolo and his business partner Eric Fusco became seafood farmers in January when John needed to find a use for giant tanks left over from a family business.

"So we Googled a lot and YouTubed a lot and put a lot of time and effort into learning everything about shrimp," DiPietropolo said.

The company trucks in salt water from the Barnegat Bay to fill the tanks, which are filtered, oxygenated, heated to 83 degrees, and monitored every hour.

When you think of farming you typically picture crops and fields. Well, shrimp farming is a completely different ballgame and the owners have learned a few things along the way.

The shrimp are transparent. You can see their insides and what they had for lunch. And those eyes? Be grateful the heads come off when they're cooked.

"We are the only providers of fresh shrimp in New Jersey and there's only two or three in the country," DiPietropolo said.

No frozen shrimp here. The company is selling to several area farmers markets and will be expanding to restaurants.

The shrimp are harvested on Fridays so if you're in the mood you can visit the farm yourself and pick up your shrimp on site.

It doesn't get any fresher than that.


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