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Artificial intelligence helping to grow shrimp in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Shipping containers powered by artificial intelligence are trying to revolutionize the shrimp farming industry.

Atarraya Inc. is a company from Mexico that has invested in Indianapolis to show their system for growing shrimp can work on a large scale.

Each Shrimpbox can grow 3,000 pounds of shrimp in one year. The warehouse, which is just off South Belmont Avenue, has six boxes inside and one box outside to show the system can work in any weather condition.

“Shrimpbox is basically two tanks stacked on top of each other,” said Chief Executive Officer of Atarraya Inc., Daniel Russek. “On the bottom are the baby shrimp with the grown-up jumbo shrimp on top.”

They’re growing a type of shrimp called Pacific White Leg Shrimp, which, according to Russek, is the only domesticated shrimp species in the world. “80% of the shrimp that you buy is exactly this species,” said Russek.

The Shrimpbox system is monitored by a computer running artificial intelligence algorithms. “We call it the Brain,” said Russek.

Atarraya Inc. turned to A.I. because it used to take 4 to 6 months to train someone to maintain the shrimp box, but that isn’t the case with the help of A.I.

“We can turn anybody into a shrimp box operator in something like 2 weeks,” said Russek.

One of the main reasons they’re growing shrimp in this way is because they noticed the negative impact regular shrimp farming has on the environment.

“An average shrimp farm pollutes the ocean on a scale that is comparable to a half a million people city,” said Russek.

Atarraya Inc. told I-Team 8 their process doesn’t have that same impact because they recycle and reuse the water used in the tanks. They also put the waste from the tanks into a bag that captures gas from that waste. They then use that gas to keep the water in the tank warm so the shrimp can grow.

“Our goal is to substitute anywhere from 1/6 to a 1/3 of the energy we use to heat the water,” said Russek.

Right now, Atarraya Inc. says they’re sticking with shrimp, but the company said that this technology can be used to grow other forms of seafood.

Anyone in Indianapolis can buy the business’ shrimp for $11-$16 a pound from Agua Blanca Seafood on the city’s southwest side.