Virus-hit Indian resort turns pool into fish farm

Virus-hit Indian resort turns pool into fish farm
In this picture taken on August 23, 2020, a general view of a swimming pool that has been turned into a fish farm is pictured at Aveda Resort in Kumarakom, in Kerala state. (AFP)
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Updated 25 August 2020

Virus-hit Indian resort turns pool into fish farm

Virus-hit Indian resort turns pool into fish farm
  • The complex was forced to shut in March when a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was ordered

KOCHI, India: A luxury resort in southern India has turned its swimming pool into a fish farm to stop the business sinking amid the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally the 150-meter pool at the Aveda Resort in Kerala state is packed with European tourists. Now thousands of pearl spot fish are causing the splash.

The complex was forced to shut in March when a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was ordered. Few hotels have been allowed to reopen since.

Of those which are still shuttered, not many boast a pool with 7.5 million liters of water, which can be put to alternative use.

“We have had zero revenues, so in June, we put around 16,000 two-month-old pearl spot fish in the pool,” Aveda’s general manager Jyotish Surendran told AFP.

The fish, which takes about eight months to reach full size, is a popular ingredient in dishes in southern India and the Middle East.

“We plan to harvest by November and will export to the Middle East,” Surendran said, predicting about four tons of pearl spots growing in the swimming pool could be worth $40,000 on the market.

The makeshift farm would not cover the losses from the pandemic, which has driven many hotels to bankruptcy, said the hotel boss.

But Surendran was hopeful that the money would help cover basic bills so the business can keep running until tourists return.

And the Aveda plans to keep faith with the pearl spot even when business resumes.

“We can’t continue with this farm in the pool, but we are trying to find alternative land where we can build up this knowledge for bigger projects,” he said.


Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
Updated 17 January 2021

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
  • The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021
  • Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday

Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group raised their U.S. growth forecast for the second time this month on expectations that President-elect Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus plan will hasten the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021, compared with a previous forecast of 6.4%, according to a report published on Saturday. It also raised forecasts for how much stimulus the new administration will be able to push through in the near-term, to $1.1 trillion from $750 billion.
Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the coronavirus under control.
“Larger boosts to disposable income and government spending imply stronger growth later in the year,” the bank’s analysts wrote.