Bill Williams, founder of NaturalShrimp, dead at 85
NaturalShrimp announced on Friday, 17 April, that its former chairman, Bill Williams, died on Easter Sunday. He was 85 years old.
A chiropractor by trade until the last weeks of his life, Williams was also an entrepreneur and founded NaturalShrimp 19 years ago. The company is based in Lacoste, Texas, about 190 miles south of Williams’ hometown of Waco.
An obituary in the Waco Tribune-Herald did not disclose a cause of death.
Williams served as NaturalShrimp’s chief executive officer and board chairman for 18 years before stepping down last August.
In an interview with SeafoodSource last June, Williams discussed how he and his colleagues got started in the aquaculture business. He noted that the idea originated to grow shrimp indoors and eventually establish a system of warehouses across the country that would give local restaurants access to fresh, sushi-grade shrimp on a year-round basis.
For more than 15 years, Williams and his colleagues raised thousands of pounds of shrimp. However, they faced challenges in growing them consistently. The main problem they encountered was, in an enclosed system, they needed to put a large number of shrimp in the salt water, and that ammonia would eventually develop and kill the shrimp.
“We finally, serendipitously, figured out how to control it, and we not only figured out how to control it, we patented [the process],” he said.
Upon his retirement, the company invited him to stay on in an emeritus role, which he said last year would allow him to stay in touch with the business.
“He was one of … [the] visionaries and founders and we hold his family in our prayers as we continue building his legacy,” the company said in a statement Friday. “The NaturalShrimp family extends our heartfelt condolences.”
Last month, the company revealed a fire destroyed its tank facility in Lacoste, but company officials said they are optimistic they will be able to rebuild.
Williams is survived by his wife of 64 years, Shirley, their three daughters, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and three nephews.
Photo courtesy of NaturalShrimp