Damage to Fishing Industry
For the many indigenous fishermen and for the fishing industry as a whole, the tsunami spells more than just a natural disaster. These fishermen, most of whom have no other skills, can no longer depend on fishing as a means of survival for the time being. The fish stock has been depleted, as would the fishermen's money. Also, the many of the fishermen's families would have lost their sole breadwinners, together with the fishing boats and equipment, adding on to their already heightening problems.
The tsunamis that affected the coast of Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives has destroyed much of the marine biology there, also damaging the ecosystem severely.
Even if the fish had detected the incoming tsunami, they would most probably still have gotten caught up in it, due to its immense energy. Any fish trying to swim away from it would also have ended up on the shores,after being swept ashore. Also, the arrival of a tsunami is marked by a huge receding wave, which would have left fish flopping on the seabed.
Millions of fish were swept ashore by the huge waves, and many more will continue to die, being unable to survive in the severely damaged habitat left in the wake of the tsunami. The marine ecosystem is hence likely to have been affected badly, with the predators up the food chain, such as dolphins and sharks, dying out due to the lack of food. Many species will not be able to adapt to the sudden change in their lifestyle and will inevitably die.
Source: Global Cuts
For the fishing industry, this is a poser, and the livelihood of many who depend on the sea would be at stake. In addition, even if there were fish to be caught, there would be a substantial number of people in the region who refuse to consume marine products such as fish and shellfish, for fear that they could be eating the remains of the victims of the tsunami. Getting them to consume seafood again would be no easy feat. All these serve to deal the already battered fishing industry another devastating blow.
In addition, the fish would probably take years to breed to an adequate number to allow for fishing, and meanwhile, the prices of fish in the affected regions would remain considerably high.
Fish is also a popular food in these countries due to the affected countries being surrounded by water, and the sudden lack of fish and its important nutrients may pose a problem for the people already used to having fish at every other meal. Seafood farms in countries such as Thailand would also have been damaged, with their owners suffering enormous losses, and the general effect? Large scale damage to the economy.
- The Indian Ocean Tsunami: what are the economic consequences?. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from http://www.odi.org.uk/tsunami/tsunami.html
- Coral reefs may take years to recover from tsunamis. The Manila Times Internet Edition. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/dec/30/yehey/opinion/20041230opi8.html
- Tsunami consequences. NewsFromRussia.com. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from http://newsfromrussia.com/world/2005/01/03/57689.html