A group of 250 fish farmers is asking for government financial aid to help them weather a red-tide disaster that has killed hundreds of thousands of fish in Tai Pang Wan in the past two weeks. The farmers have suffered a total loss of $20 million, with about 327 tonnes of fish destroyed in five fish culture zones in the northeast New Territories. They blame a sudden change in the weather for the deaths. The deaths began on March 19 and by yesterday nearly all the fish in the five zones were dead, they said. Most farmers had lost stock worth more than $700,000, with some losing as much as $2 million. The farmers yesterday met Agriculture and Fisheries Department officials to ask for ex-gratia payments from the Government's emergency relief fund. A department spokesman said the fish farmers could qualify for up to $11,200 each depending on the size of their farm.