Quake damage to Noto oyster farmers could top $1.3 mil.

A new estimate says oyster farmers in Japan's Ishikawa Prefecture suffered at least 1.3 million dollars in damages from the New Year's Day earthquake.

The estimate follows a survey by a fisheries cooperative that found damage to processing facilities, pumps, pipes and offshore racks at 39 oyster farms.

The region is famous for its large and tasty oysters which are cultured in Nanao Bay throughout the year.

Yamaguchi Tatsuya of the Ishikawa Prefecture fisheries co-operative association said, "We have no choice but to ask the prefecture and the central government for support for reconstruction. We are in a situation where we cannot do anything on our own. It is an industry that is rooted in various places in the region. I hope things will return to normal as soon as possible."

The cooperative says two oyster growers have decided to discontinue operations. Several others are considering pulling out, saying they don't know whether they can rebuild their business.