SINGAPORE - A vertical crab farm at Kranji lost about $3,300 worth of crabs on Friday (May 26) morning, when strong gusts of wind blew down 19 out of 20 of its vertical structures.
The damage is estimated to cost the company about $200,000.
Mr Winston Siv Raj, 45, a spokesman for Gills 'N' Claws Aquaculture, told The Straits Times that the strong winds brought down the vertical structures together with the mud crabs in them at about 11am.
The farm lost about 100kg of crabs. One kg is worth about $33 on average, Mr Raj said.
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"What's worse is the structures collapsing," he said. "It will take us weeks (to restore them)."
Of the few hundred crabs remaining, many of them were not yet fully grown and so cannot be sold to restaurants or customers, he said.
The farm, which has about five staff, is currently working out how to house the surviving crabs without the vertical structures.
The vertical crab farm, which fattens up Sri Lankan mud crabs bred in a hatchery in Sri Lanka before selling them in Singapore, was born after two and a half years of research and development.
Mr Raj said the farm had no insurance, as it only just got its licence to grow crabs last month (April). Previously it was allowed only to fatten crabs.
He estimated that it would take one and a half to two months to restore the damaged vertical rows.
Mr Steven Suresh, chief executive at the farm, told ST that each row costs $15,000 on average.
"Only 11 of the 20 rows are very badly damaged," he said. "Nine of them I think we can salvage. Overall the estimated losses are about $200,000."
He said staff would try to clear as much stock as they can tomorrow, and assess the situation to see how much they can do for the structures.