Morakot batters Taiwan’s aquaculture industry


Catherine Zhang, contributing editor reporting from London, England

Published on
August 11, 2009

Typhoon Morakot, which over the weekend brought the heaviest flooding Taiwan has seen in 50 years, caused nearly USD 90 million (EUR 63.5 million) in damages to the country’s flourishing aquaculture industry, the most by a typhoon in nearly two decades, according to Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture.

The storm damaged 5,832 hectares and USD 88.7 million (EUR 62.6 million) worth of fish farms, according to the agency.

On Wednesday, villagers scrambled to recover losses of grouper and tilapia washed away by intense floods.

The Taiwanese counties of Pingtung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, where tilapia, clams and shrimp are raised, were among the hardest-hit, with farmers losing as much as USD 600,000 (EUR 423,660) in shrimp and tilapia due to the storm.

In mainland China, Morakot tore through the aquaculture-rich Fujian province, destroying homes, farmland and more than USD 10 million (EUR 7.1 million) worth of fish farms.

As many as 500 people may have been killed by landslides in southern Taiwan due to Morakot, according to Taiwanese officials. The storm dumped a record 3,063 millimeters (120 inches) of rain in Alishan, in central Taiwan, beginning 6 August.

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