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The 2004 Tsunami and Shrimp Farming

India, Thailand and Indonesia Take the Hit

 

At 7:59 a.m., on Sunday, December 26, 2004, an earthquake off the northwest coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered a tsunami that destroyed shrimp farms in southeast India and northwest Indonesia and shrimp hatcheries in southwest Thailand.

Tsunamis are shock waves that travel through the ocean at great speeds. When they hit low-lying coastal areas, they rise up as moving walls of water that break every thing apart when they make landfall and then drag everything out to sea when they retreat.

 

• Ocean-going boats felt only a minor ripple as the tsunami passed below them.

 

• Skin divers in the open ocean off Thailand’s western coast felt nothing when the tsunami passed through the water they were diving in.

 

• In Sri Lanka, a thousand miles from the earthquake, the tsunami produced a wall of water 40 feet high that traveled inland for half a mile.

 

• On the northwest coast of Sumatra, the area closest to the earthquake, that wall of water might have been 60 feet high.  It washed a town of 10,000 people and all its buildings into the sea.

 

• A “tsunami” is a “tsunami”; it is not a tidal wave.

 

• The earthquake that produced this tsunami measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, making it the largest earthquake anywhere on earth in the last forty years and the fifth largest since 1900.

 

 

India

 

Relatively Unscathed; According to early reports, India's shrimp farms are likely to have come through the tsunami relatively unscathed.  Most are located at least a kilometer away from the sea as required by regulations.  The Seafood Exporters Association of India estimates that about ten percent of the shrimp farms along the Andhra Pradesh coast were inundated with seawater.  Fortunately, most were not stocked at this time of year.  Source: Seafood.com (an online, fee-based, fisheries news service).  India's aquaculture industry largely intact.  Ken Coons.  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  December 28, 2004.

 

Light Damage: Dear Friends: The coastal states—Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala—got hit by the tsunami, but only a few ponds got washed away and the ponds that were flooded were not stocked.  The huge banks around some of the shrimp ponds protected them from the tsunami.  From: Elan Cheran (cheran_28@yahoo.com).  Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers, “shrimp-subscribe@yahoogroups.com”).  Subject: Re: [shrimp] Re: News= Indonesia/Bay of Bengal/Tsunami.  December 28, 2004.

 

Tamil Nadu: In the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu, about 200 shrimp farms, many of them illegal, were destroyed.  Equipment such as pumps, motors and aerators were devoured by the waves.  Source: New Kerala (website).  Shrimp farms in Tamil Nadu vanish (http://news.newkerala.com/india-news/?action=fullnews&id=51684).  December 28, 2004.

 

Dan Fegan: Dan Fegan, formerly with Thailand’s National Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and now regional technical manager of aquaculture at Alltech Biotechnlogy Corp., Ltd., in Thailand, reports:

 

Victor Suresh has turned up on holiday in Goa.  Henry Wang in Phuket is OK.  Dr. Vasudevan and the Hi-Line Aqua staff, M. Sudarsan Swamy and Santhanakrishnan (Maritech) in India, are OK.  Unfortunately, Mr. Vijayakumar, a technical assistant at CIBA’s Muttukadu Hatchery, and Mr. Murugan, a farm technician in Vedaranyam, lost their lives in the tsunami.  Please remember them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Information: Daniel F. Fegan, Alltech Biotechnology Corp, Ltd., 5th Floor, Preecha Building, 2533 Sukhumvit Road, Bangchack, Prakhanong, Bangkok 1260 Thailand (phone 66-2742-4545, fax 66-2742-4547, email dfegan@alltech.com).  Source: Aquafeed.com (website covering aquaculture feeds worldwide).  Editor, Suzi Fraser.  Forums/Tsunami Information/News of our friends/Latest news (http://www.aquafeed.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=258).  Dan Fegan.  December 30, 2004.

 

Hatcheries Confident: Hatcheries in southeast India are confident that they will have enough broodstock to produce the seedstock for the first crop of the year, which begins at the end of January.  According to a hatchery industry representative, the hatcheries’ capacity of about 14 billion postlarvae is intact, against a projected demand of about 8 billion to 10 billion.  Source: Business Line (a financial daily from the HINDU group of publications).  Shrimp, prawn availability unlikely to be affected.  R. Balaji (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2005/01/05/stories/2005010500561000.htm).  January 5, 2005.

 

Tamil Nadu-Heavy Damage: Krishna Balasundaram owns a shrimp farm in Tamil Nadu, the state on the southeast tip of India that was hit hard by the tsunami.  His farm and all the other shrimp farms in the area were destroyed.  Referring to family members and farm workers, Balasundaram said, “They all saw something wrong.”  “They [saw the tide] and ran a kilometer before getting into a car” and continuing inland.  Source: TownOnLine.com (website for several newspapers).  Tsunami hits close to home for natives (http://www2.townonline.com/woburn/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=158453).  Michael Marottar (and staff writer Noah Bombard).  January 6, 2005.

 

Andhra Pradesh: Dr. S. Vasudevan, an aquaculture consultant and managing director of Hi-Line Aqua, which supplies feeds and equipment to shrimp farms in India, reports:

 

Shrimp Hatcheries: In the State of Tamil Nadu, in the Kovalam, Marakanam and Pondy areas, hatcheries lost their pump houses and fencing.  At other hatcheries, wells and pump houses were hit.

 

In Andhra Pradesh most of the hatcheries were not affected, except in Thupilipalem, in the Nellore District, where some hatcheries were damaged.  The hatcheries in Chirala, Bapatla, Kakinada and Vizag were not hit by the tsunami.  Shrimp farms in Cuddalore, Chidambaram and Sirkali were hit hard with damage to ponds and pumps.

 

Shrimp farms in the Vellar estuaries (Chidambaram, Sirkali) were flooded.  Farms in Muthupet (a mangrove area) were also flooded.  Ponds in Tharangampadi, Vedaranyam, Nagapattinam, Velankanni were washed away.

 

Capture Fisheries: Most of the fishing boats received heavy damage, especially in the Pazhayar, Poompugar and Vanagiri areas.  Shrimp broodstock collection will be very difficult for the first half of 2005.  Stocking will be delayed in 2005 because hatcheries and farms need time to renovate their operations.  Sea catches may drop because of damages to fishing boats.  Information: Dr. S. Vasudevan, Hi-Line Aqua, 28/1, Soundaram Apartments, Third Main Road, Kasturba Nagar, Adyar, Chennai - 600 020 India (phone 91-44-24416311, fax 91-44-24420591, email vasu@xlweb.com, webpage http://www.hi-lineaqua.com).  Source: Aquafeed.com (website covering aquaculture feeds worldwide).  Editor, Suzi Fraser.  Forums/Tsunami Information/News of our friends/Report on damage to Indian aquaculture industry (http://www.aquafeed.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=254).  Dr. S. Vasudevan (hiline@xlweb.com).  December 30, 2004.

 

The Wall Street Journal: The Wall Street Journal reports that many of the natural defenses to tsunamis—reefs, mangroves and sand dunes—have been removed to make way for tourism, “relentless urban development” and “countless shrimp farms”.  The newspaper report says:

 

“Jumbo Spoiler: But by far the greatest spoiler of Asia’s coastline are shrimp farms.  Thailand is now the world’s biggest shrimp exporter; Indonesia and India are not far behind.  The USA is the biggest buyer.  Cheap tiger shrimp have created prosperity around Asia, but at a cost: shrimp farms demand brackish water and flat land, both found in abundance where mangroves grow.”

 

“A typical fish pond looks like a bomb crater, and coastal Asia is pocked with them.  Each lasts for no more than eight years before the many chemicals and antibiotics that are poured into them in the process of raising shrimp make them unusable.  The shrimp farmers move on, cutting more mangrove forests for new farms.”  Source: The Wall Street Journal.  Tsunami’s Aftermath: On Asia’s coasts, progress destroys natural defenses.  Andrew Browne.  Page A5, December 31, 2004.

 

Shrimp Farmers Without Funds to Restart: In southeast India, production of farmed shrimp will be reduced for the next several years because uninsured farmers have no way of recovering from their loses.

 

Shrimp hatcheries have been flooded, which means a shortage of seedstock for the first crop of 2005.

 

Rough estimates put the total number of fishing boats destroyed beyond repair at 70,000.  Hundreds of fishermen and their families are dead or missing.  The massive destruction of fishing craft will limit the collection of gravid (egg-bearing) female shrimp, further contributing to the shortage of seedstock.  Source: The Financial Express (newspaper, Indian Express Group, net edition).  Tsunami to hit seafood exports (http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=79302).  AJAYAN.  January 10, 2005.

 

Update: In the state of Kerala on the southwest coast, at least 14 small-scale shrimp hatcheries in four districts (Kollam, Alleppey, Ernakulam, and Kannur) were damaged.

 

In the state of Tamil Nadu on the southeast coast, an estimated 120 hectares of small-scale shrimp farms and 11 hatcheries in Nagapattinam and Karaikal districts were damaged.

 

In the state of Andhra Pradesh, hatcheries were not much affected except in Thupilipalem, in the Nellore District.  Source: Impacts of the Tsunami on Fisheries, Aquaculture and Coastal Livelihoods (an update on the situation as of January 10, 2005).  This is a summary of the tsunami’s impacts on fisheries and aquaculture in the Indian Ocean compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN/Asia Pacific Fishery Commission (FAO/APFIC), Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia Pacific (NACA), South East Asia Fisheries Development Centers (SEAFDEC) and the Bay of Bengal Programme – Intergovernmental Organizations (BOBP-IGO).  To download a PDF of the report, click here.

 

Tamil Nadu: In Tamil Nadu, the state on the southeast coast that was hit hard by the tsunami, many farms were destroyed and many farms and hatcheries were washed away.  The losses were tremendous, and it will take months for the industry to recover.  Source: NDTV.com (New Delhi Television, Ltd., India’s largest private producer of news, current affairs and entertainment television).  Tsunami hits shrimp farming industry (http://www.ndtv.com/template/template.asp?template=Tsunami&slug=Tsunami+hits+shrimp+farming+industry&id=67093&callid=1&category=National).  Jennifer.  January 19, 2005.

 

Tamil Nadu: The recent tsunami made a wasteland of about 600 shrimp farms in the state of Tamil Nadu.

 

Farmers were encouraged by government to get into shrimp farming on the barren land along the shore.  Now, environmentalists have mounted a campaign to stop the rebuilding of the shrimp farms.

 

Mariappan, a young fisherman, started a shrimp farm along the coast with private loans.  The tsunami washed it away, taking with it the crop he was about to harvest—and his dreams.  “I lost everything.  I was lucky to have survived the deluge.”

 

Damaged farm walls and sluice gates are all that is left of this two-square-kilometer area on the Vedaranyam coast.  The region used to export around 3,000 tons of shrimp a year.  The farmers hooked up with exporters who took their catch to Madras and Cochin for processing and export.  Now the farmers are worried.  Many are unlicensed which means they are beyond the control of the state fisheries department.  Farmers secured private loans and signed up with exporters on their own.  Now they want the government to help them tackle their financial problems.

 

Shankaravadivelu, president of the shrimp farmers association in Thoputhurai, says that the government has not responded to their pleas.  “The shrimp farmers have helped earn foreign exchange for the country, but the government has not come to our aid,” he says.

 

Environmentalist Ms. Jose Rethinam’s Coastal Area Action Network (CAAN) has compiled data on the coastline of Tamil Nadu affected by tsunami.  She says successive governments have ignored their pleas to remove shrimp farms.  “There is a Supreme Court ruling that prohibits aquaculture along the coast, but the administration has not taken action,” she says.  She says that before the tsunami struck, CAAN was told that 293 shrimp farms would be removed—but they weren’t removed.  Environmentalists say the impact of the tsunami was minimal wherever trees and sand dunes were left in place.  Source: BBC NEWS, World Edition (United Kingdom).  Prawn farmers count tsunami cost (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4287097.stm).  Sunil Raman.  February 24, 2005.

 

Shrimp Farms Caused the Tsunami: Carlo Petrini, editor of Slowfood.com (an international association that promotes food and wine culture, and defends food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide), writes in La Stampa, a newspaper in Italy.

 

I called Vandana Shiva, a renowned Indian scientist and activist, to participate in a fund-raiser for communities in Tamil Nadu that were struck by the tsunami.  He maintains that the disaster was not an entirely natural phenomenon, saying man is largely to blame for the effects caused by the wave crashing into the coast and for the many deaths that took place.  A strong assertion, but a justifiable one: the coastline was completely vulnerable, having been stripped of its natural defenses, like mangroves, for the construction of tourist complexes and farming, thereby exposing hundreds of thousands of people to danger.

 

Vandana Shiva uses intensive shrimp farming as an example of the type of development that contributed to the tsunami’s destruction.  He says shrimp farms have:

 

• Displaced self-sustaining agriculture

• Eradicated mangrove forests

• Destroyed jobs

• Polluted the environment with antibiotics and pesticides

 

Source: Slowfood.com.  FORUM: East and West, Food and Nature (http://www.slowfood.com/eng/sf_sloweb/sf_sloweb_dettaglio.lasso?passaswe=SW_01569).  First printed in La Stampa (newspaper, Italy) on February 14, 2005.  Carlo Petrini.  March 1, 2005.

 

Tamil Nadu: Perumal Govindan (not his real name) owns two shrimp hatcheries in Tamil Nadu and is distressed because the shrimp farming season, which usually begins in January/February, when fishermen capture gravid (egg-laden) broodstock for the hatcheries, has been slow to start.  R. Munnuswamy (not his real name), another hatchery owner, explains gloomily that since the tsunami wrecked most of the fishing boats in the region, fishermen were unable to fish for shrimp broodstock at the beginning of the season.  Although fishermen have started fishing for broodstock again, he thinks many hatcheries will remain idle until June 2005.

 

The tsunami damaged over 40 of the 73 shrimp hatcheries in Tamil Nadu.  The shrimp hatcheries are situated less than a kilometer from the sea and are found near the coastal towns of Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Kanyakumari.  Farmers hold postlarvae in nursery ponds for a week, and then stock them in growout ponds.  The average size of a shrimp farm is less than five acres.  Source: Business-standard.com (the online property of Business Standard, Ltd., publishers of India’s second largest business daily).  Tamil Nadu: Tsunami ravages shrimp exports (http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage.php?storyflag=y&leftnm=lmnu2&leftindx=2&lselect=1&chklogin=N&autono=184080).  Bridget Leena.  March 22, 2005.

 

 

Thailand

 

Ranong, Krabi, Phuket and Phang Nga Provinces Hit: Phuket is a mess.  A lot of hatcheries produce Penaeus vannamei seedstock in Phuket, but I’ve heard that some of them in the Haad Rawai area were not damaged.  Some shrimp farms in the coastal provinces of Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket and Krabi may have been destroyed.  There was very little damage to shrimp farms in Trang and Satun provinces.  There will definitely be a setback in production in Krabi and Phang Nga provinces.  Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers, “shrimp-subscribe@yahoogroups.com”).  From: Dipi Ghumman (getdipi@yahoo.com).  Subject: Re: [shrimp] News=Indonesia/Bay of Bengal/Tsunami.  December 27, 2004.

 

Fishing Fleet Hit: Adirek Sripratak, chief executive of Charoen Pokphand Foods, the biggest player in Thailand’s shrimp farming industry (feeds, postlarvae, processing and exports), said the tsunami struck the country’s six coastal provinces along the Andaman Sea with waves as high as 33 feet (10 meters).  He said CP’s sales of farm-raised shrimp might rise over the next few months because the tsunami damaged a significant portion of the shrimp fishing fleet in the Andaman Sea.  “It will take some time to build new fishing boats,” he said.  Source: Bloomberg.com (a global distributor of financial information through television, radio and magazines).  Charoen Pokphand’s sales growth to accelerate on shrimp exports (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000080&sid=a8zjpokjB8jo&refer=asia).  Anuchit Nguyen (anguyen@bloomberg.net).  December 28, 2004.

 

Village and Shrimp Farm Washed Away: Ban Namkhem...This fishing village just north of Thailand’s Khao Lak beach does not exist any more, and Maitri Sayput, 47, thinks that she is one of its few survivors.  Maitri said she had no news of her husband and two daughters.  She and other villagers feared that thousands lay beneath the mud that was once a busy, self-sufficient community–which also relied on a small shrimp farm.  Source: Yahoo News (website).  Reuters: Tsunami wipes entire Thai village off map (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041231/wl_nm/quake_thailand_village_dc_1).  Mark Bendeich.  December 31, 2004.

 

Early Reports of Hatchery Damage: On January 6, 2005, Newin Chidchob, deputy minister of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry said the tsunami affected about 30 hectares of shrimp ponds in southwestern Thailand.  He said affected farms would receive $2,550 and an interest-free loan of $1,838.  Source: Bangkok Post (newspaper, Bangkok, Thailand).  Payout to fishermen in a few weeks (http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/07Jan2005_news06.php).  Piyaporn Wongruang.  January 7, 2005.

 

Severe Hatchery Damage: At Los Angeles-based Rubicon Resources, the largest USA importer of Thai shrimp, Chief Executive Officer Brian Wynn said hatcheries on Thailand’s west coast have suffered.  “The effect has been serious and somewhat severe,” Wynn said.  Source: al.com (website of Mobile Register, a newspaper in Mobile, Alabama, USA).  Shrimpers prevail in battle over tariffs (http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/news/110509307065620.xml).  Sean Reilly and Russ Henderson.  January 7, 2005.

 

The Asian Wall Street Journal: In the January 10, 2005, issue of the Asian Wall Street Journal, Bruce Stanley reports:

 

Tsunami damage to hatcheries in Thailand could crimp shrimp production and drive up prices.

 

Shrimp hatcheries require seawater, so they often locate as close as possible to the coast.  Some aquaculture experts estimate the tsunami swept away half of Thailand’s hatcheries, a loss that foreshadows a sharp drop in the output of adult shrimp from one of the world’s biggest producers.

 

Thailand’s west coast has few shrimp farms because the area lacks suitable wetlands, said Hassanai Kongkeo, Bangkok-based senior adviser for the nonprofit Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia Pacific.  But, he said, the west coast has a significant number of hatcheries, and at least 91 of them were washed away.  Mr. Hassanai predicts a 10% jump in wholesale prices during the next two to three months.

 

Mr. Somsak of the Thai Shrimp Association expects that Thailand's shrimp hatcheries will lose half of their production.  He worries that it could take at least six months for hatchery owners to rebuild their facilities.  “If there is no recovery in the hatcheries, the farmers will not have enough fry,” he said.  “I think it will affect prices directly.”

 

Mr. Somsak, whose trade group includes shrimp farmers, hatcheries and other members of the aquaculture industry in Thailand, said he expects prices to rise by at least 10 percent.

 

Shrimp farming consultant Jimmy Lim agreed.  “Prices will definitely go up about 15%,” he said.  Mr. Lim, a partner in Venture Farms, Pte., Ltd., of Singapore, said the higher prices are likely to last until at least the end of this year.

 

Seafood traders in Hong Kong and Singapore, however, report no post-tsunami price rises so far.  Although the Lunar New Year celebration in early February is Asia’s peak season for shrimp consumption, most traders had boosted inventories of frozen shrimp before the tsunami struck.

 

Adirek Sripratak, chief executive of Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company, the biggest player in the country’s shrimp farming industry, said he detects no upward pressure on prices for fry or adult shrimp.  Source: Seafood.com (an online, fee-based, fisheries news service).  Shrimp farm damage from tsunami could be higher than initially reported, may crimp exports.  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  January 10, 2005.

 

Farm and Processing Plant Crumpled: In some areas of Phang Nga Province, the tsunami smashed inland for more than a mile.  North of Bangsak Beach, a sprawling, inland, commercial shrimp farm and processing plant is now a heap of crumpled warehouses and silent workers’ dormitories.  Large black tanks are half-filled with stinking, fly-infested goo, and peppered with broken machine parts, disemboweled asbestos lining, and tangled, nylon fishing nets.

 

Source: Scoop (webpage, tomorrow’s news today).  Tsunami scavengers, survivors, nuns and corps (http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0501/S00052.htm).  Richard S. Ehrlic (http://www.geocities.com/glossograph/).  January 11, 2005.

 

The Associated Press: The tsunami that struck southern Thailand two weeks ago has caused $500 million worth of damage to the country’s shrimp farming industry and killed more than 100 hatchery workers.  It leveled farm buildings and washed away equipment and shrimp in hundreds of seaside ponds.

 

Somsak Paneetassayasai, president of the Shrimp Industry Association, said “About 30 percent of the breeding stock and hatchery industry was destroyed.  The total losses were about $500 million.”

 

The shrimp farming industry will take at least six months to acquire new breeders and restore the hatcheries.  The damage will cause Thai shrimp exports to plummet by 75,000 to 80,000 tons this year, Somsak said.

 

About 300,000 shrimp workers will lose their jobs because of the tsunami.  The industry normally employs 1 million people.  Source: YahooNews.  Tsunami wrought US$500 million worth of damages to Thai shrimp farms (http://asia.news.yahoo.com/050111/ap/d87ho55o0.html).  January 11, 2005.

 

Will Take Ten Months to Recover: Thai shrimp hatcheries have appealed for immediate government financial aid.  On January 13, 2005, Somsak Paneetatyasai, chairman of the Thai Shrimp Farming Association, said the tsunami wiped out nearly two-thirds of the country’s hatchery capacity.  He said the loss could result in a $500 million loss in shrimp exports.

 

Hatcheries will need an estimated $25 million to rebuild damaged facilities.  The tsunami struck just as the hatcheries were getting ready to ship PLs to the farms for the first crop of the season.  Approximately  two-thirds of the Thailand’s hatchery output has been affected, according to Mr. Somsak.  Vinai Mangcharoen, a hatchery owner, said in addition to $250,000 in damage to the hatchery, he lost 2,000 broodstock animals capable of producing 200 million PLs a month.

 

It could take up to six months to restore the facilities and another four months to produce a new crop of PLs.  This is likely to cause a 30 percent fall in Thai shrimp exports in 2005, equivalent to an export revenue loss of $500 million.  To remedy the situation, Mr. Somsak said, the industry needed immediate access to low-interest loans.  Source: MCOT.org (a global television network, Thailand).  Thai shrimp farmers appeal for soft loans to help post-tsunami revival (http://etna.mcot.net/query.php?nid=34749).  January 13, 2005.

 

Thousands of Broodstock Lost: Chokchai Sermsirimanont, the manager of AA Ocean Farm, said the tsunami killed seven of his workers, destroyed 300 of his concrete hatchery tanks and washed away equipment and shrimp.  Total property damage was around $500,000 not including the 3,000 broodstock animals which could have produced some 50-60 million postlarvae a month.  “We won't be resuming business anytime soon.  We won't be ready until at least the end of the year because the damage is enormous,” Mr Chokchai said.  “The waves even swept away the power lines and poles.”

 

His operation is just one of some 1,300 hatcheries along the Andaman coast.  About 65% of the hatcheries on the west coast of Thailand suffered damage.

 

Banjonk Nissapavanich, president of the Chachoengsao Shrimp Hatchery Club and director of the Thai Shrimp Association, said the price of broodstock was expected to rise 20% due to the tsunami.  Thailand imports about 320,000 broodstock annually.

 

The tsunami could cause postlarval shrimp production to plummet 40% in the first six months of 2005, which could cause the nation’s shrimp production to drop by 30%.  Source: Bangkok Post (newspaper, Bangkok, Thailand).  Hathery losses may hurt entire shrimp sector (http://www.bangkokpost.com/Business/14Jan2005_biz61.php).  Walailak Keeratipipatpong.  Janurary 14, 2005.

 

Phuket Hatchery, Co., Ltd.: Shrimp hatcheries on the west coast, the coast hit by the recent tsunami, supply 60 to 70 percent of the seedstock used by the shrimp farming industry, located mostly on the east coast and unaffected by the tsunami.  Vinai Mungcharoen, owner of Phuket Hatchery, Co., Ltd., said his operation was completely wiped out.  It will cost him $332,000 to rebuild, and he will probably lose revenues of $1.5 million.

 

The Thai Shrimp Association, the Thai Marine Shrimp Farmer Association and the Surat Thani Shrimp Club—representing farms, hatcheries and processing plants—said the country’s supply of postlarvae was cut by 30 percent.  They estimate that it will take at least nine months for the hatchery industry to get back to normal.  They said lost shrimp exports would amount to $500 million.  Source: Seafood.com (an online, fee-based, fisheries news service).  Southern Thai shrimp hatcheries still waiting on government aid.  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  January 20, 2005.

 

What Species Was Thailand Farming on the West Coast: On January 19, 2005, Huw Thomas (huw.thomas@amandagroup.com) asked the Shrimp List about the species of shrimp being cultured on the west coast of Thailand.  Shortly after, Dipi Ghumman (getdipi@yahoo.com) responded: Ninety percent of the hatcheries destroyed in Phuket were producing Penaeus vannamei PL stock.  Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers, “shrimp-subscribe@yahoogroups.com”).  Subject: Tsunami affected hatcheries.  From: Huw Thomas and Dipi Ghumman.  January 19, 2005.

 

 

Indonesia

 

Banda Aceh, at the north end of the island of Sumatra, took the full brunt of the December 2004 tsunami.  Over 33,000 households in the region had registered their primary income as being generated from aquaculture before the disaster.  Along the coasts the majority of aquaculturists were small-scale shrimp farmers, operating family owned ponds (tambaks) of less than a hectare each.  All of the shrimp produced were marketed locally.  No freezing facilities were present, so shrimp could only be sold on ice or as dried products.  Even before the tsunami, many of the farmers were plagued with slow growth and low survival rates resulting from poor water quality and several diseases.  Monoculture of shrimp, multiple reuse of effluent waters, removal of mangroves and other vegetation and overfed ponds had contributed to a significant reduction in production in the years immediately prior to the tsunami.  The tsunami itself essentially destroyed all the coastal ponds of Aceh province.  The wave rushed over most of the villages built on the coastal berms and pushed much of the village contents into the ponds.  Virtually all of the dikes, control structures, canals and other infrastructure elements were completely obliterated.  Many of the shrimp ponds had been constructed in the coastal lagoons behind the beaches where most of the population lived.  The lagoons contained extensive mangrove forests before the shrimp farmers removed a considerable percentage of them.  In addition to the destroyed farms, the local aquaculture research and extension station at Ujong Battee was almost completely destroyed and the regional fisheries and aquaculture trade school in Ladong lost an entire busload of faculty and students in route to a picnic when the waves struck.

 

Source: World Aquaculture (the quarterly magazine of the World Aquaculture Society).  Editor-in-Chief, Robert Stickney.  Aquaculture restoration in the tsunami zone, Aceh Province, Indonesia.  Kevin Fitzsimmons (kevfitz@ag.arizona.edu).  Volume 39, Number 1, Page 41, March 2008.

 

New Tsunami Warning System

 

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, a United Nations agency based in Paris, has scheduled the extension of the international tsunami warning system to the Indian Ocean and made progress in providing an alert network for the Caribbean region, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.  Beginning in April 2005, Indian Ocean countries will receive seismic data from earthquake monitoring stations in Japan and Hawaii.  The Commission will then install tide gauges at 6 sites in the eastern ocean and upgrade 15 others to create a rudimentary alert system to be operative by the fall 2005.  A final, more sophisticated system will be in place by the end of 2006 that will include a regional warning system and seabed sensors.  Source: The New York Times (newspaper, New York City, New York, USA).  World Briefing/Asia: Steps to a tsunami warning system.  John Tagliabue.  March 9, 2005.

 

Source: Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, October 1, 2005.

 

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