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ACCORDING to the website  SeafoodIntelligence.com , Japan’s aquaculture industry suffered over JP¥100 billion (€855 million / US$ 1.22 billion) in damage - roughly a quarter of its 2009 annual output (JP¥ 409.5 billion) - resulting from the devastation of the March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, according to a provisional survey.

The damage was particularly severe for oyster and ‘wakame’ (brown seaweed) farms in the tsunami–stricken Iwate (¥51.8 billion / €443 million) and Miyagi (¥24.2 billion / €207 million) prefectures. The third most-impacted region was Hokkaido with ¥15.8 billion, known for its farmed scallops, sea urchin and kelp. Oyster pearl and red sea bream operations were ravaged in Mie Prefecture (¥3.7 billion) , while yellowtail and other aquaculture operations in Kochi Prefecture lost approximately ¥200 million.

Japanese fish farmers face the challenge of securing funds to resume business and for the various expenses, including fish feed; taking into account that it will take 2-3 years after they do so before they can reap their first incomes. Many fishermen also want the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) to compensate them for the losses resulting directly from the radiation released by the meltdown of some of the Fukushima nuclear power plant reactors, and the various negative impacts/loss of revenues this had on the Japanese seafood market since March.

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