Hundreds of fishermen at yesterday's Tin Hau Festival prayed to the goddess who guards the sea for respite from the red tide crisis. The fishermen joined rituals in Tin Hau temples around Hong Kong's coastline, serving the goddess by burning incense, roasting pigs and putting on Chinese operas. One participant, Wan Kam-chuen, 44, said the fishermen prayed that the crisis would end soon. 'Old people predicted a disaster when hail fell during the Lunar New Year as it did about 10 years ago, and that has come true.' Mr Wan said small-scale fish farms faced huge pressure to close despite the offer of low-interest government loans of up to $500,000. 'We have to buy fish fry and invest heavily feeding them. There are also household expenditures to be paid,' he said. But deputy director of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, Yip Shui-ming, said the $217 million loan scheme was sufficient. 'We don't know how many of them will apply, but we believe it is a sufficient sum.' Mr Yip said large-scale farms should move towards Guangdong waters. 'The water quality in the Guangdong area is more suitable. This should be the future direction for fish farmers.' About 51 tonnes of dead fish were collected on Saturday. No beaches were closed yesterday because of red tide but people were advised not to swim.