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Grouper Fish Ponds Almost Wiped Out

TAIWAN - The fisheries industry in southern Taiwan suffered unprecedented losses in floods triggered by Typhoon Morakot this month.

The grouper culture ponds, which turned out nearly 60 per cent of the world's production in terms of value, have almost been completely wiped out, an industry source said Saturday.

According to etaiwan news, post-Morakot investigation conducted by the Council of Agriculture (COA) indicates that of the 1,500 hectares of grouper culture ponds in Taiwan, more than 90 percent have been damaged.

The COA reported that as of 3 p.m. Friday, Morakot's damage to the fishery industry amounted to NT$4.14 billion. In Chiatung and Linbian alone, the losses to the fish culture industry might reach NT$3 billion, according to the county magistrate.

Hsieh Chin-huei, president of the Aquaculture Development Association of the R.O.C., lamented that it might take the grouper culture industry more than a year to recover.

Groupers were among the high value fish products which earned the nation handsome foreign exchange every year, says etaiwan news. In 2008, the NT$3.88 billion (US$120 million) in Taiwan's grouper production value represented 58 percent of the world's overall production value for the popular fish.

the Fish Site Editor

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