With a cold front moving in during the New Year’s holidays, fish farmers in Changhua and Yunlin counties’ coastal areas reported the estimated loss of thousands of milkfish.
The cold weather over the past few days drove the temperature at Changhua and Yunlin’s coastal areas to below 10°C, killing a large number of farmed milkfish.
An estimated 3,000 milkfish froze to death in Yunlin County’s Taisi Township (台西), as the lowest temperatures plunged to about 8°C in the past few days, and fish farmers had to use nets to scoop up the dead milkfish.
Many fish farmers in Changhua County that breed clams and milkfish in the same ponds — with the milkfish helping to eat up the lichen that grows in the ponds — have also reported that thousands of milkfish died in the freezing water.
Some milkfish farmers said that if dead fish are found floating in the breeding ponds, they have to quickly scoop them up to give to friends and relatives, or sell them at cheaper prices at fish markets or food processing factories while they are still fresh.
Others pumped groundwater into their fish ponds, in an effort to raise the temperature, they said
Some village residents took advantage of the opportunity and directly approached the fish farmers to purchase fresh fish.