|This amazing reef lies just opposite|
the world-class container terminals at Pasir Panjang.
Here is HRH Siti doing the royal wave as Melvin takes the first group to land on Cyrene, just emerging out of the water on the horizon.
how large Cyrene is!
Project Driftnet. It was a relief to find no newly abandoned traps or nets. The only nets I came across were already well overgrown with marine life, with the netting already degraded, leaving only the ropes. These we leave behind as they don't pose a great danger to marine life and are already part of the ecosystem.
Bleach Watch Singapore. How nice to see happy and healthy corals! Here's a Flowery disk coral (Turbinaria sp.) and a Leathery soft coral (Family Alcyoniidae).
Cauliflower coral (Pocillopora sp.) and Sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.). These two species suffered badly during the bleaching event last year.
Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) and Small goniopora corals (Goniopora sp.).
Thin disk corals (Turbinaria sp.) which seemed more or less ok.
Asparagus soft corals (Family Nephtheidae) and a large patch of Black-and-white leathery soft corals (Cladiella sp.).
Pore corals (Porites sp.) both large and small colonies.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) which come in all kinds of patterns and colours. I saw many and they were unbleached.
Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) out on the reefs, many clasping rocks and corals, perhaps eating something? Collin also saw a small Pentaceraster sea star (Pentaceraster mammilatus).Cushion sea star (Culcita novaeguineae) that Yusoff found during our trip to Cyrene the day before.
Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.). This seaweed was also abundant on some parts of the seagrass meadows. There is often a seasonal bloom of this seaweed. I'm not sure that this means exactly for Cyrene. Which is why regular seagrass monitoring is important. TeamSeagrass heads out to check up on Cyrene next month!
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) is very short with tips which appear brown and burnt. Large areas of have Tape seagrasses of the same short height. It looks as if the meadows had been mown! One possible explanation is that the high sea temperatures that caused coral bleaching also affected the Tape seagrasses which died at the growing point causing the blades to break off. As the Tape seagrasses recover, they are of the same short height. Another reason why seagrass monitoring is useful!
Snaky sea anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) which I haven't seen for some time.
White sea urchins (Salmacis sp.). 'carrying' bits of shell and seagrass to protect themselves.
Eggwhite moon snail (Polinices albumen) which so far I've only seen on Changi and Cyrene.
Hairy sea hares (Busatella leachii) and some were in pairs, with one following another. Getting ready to mate? These slugs are hermaphrodites with both male and female parts. They are said to form mating chains with the one behind acting as male to the one in front acting as female.
Furry sea hare (Stylocheilus sp.), also in pairs with one 'chasing' after the other. Alas, we didn't manage to see any in actual mating position.
Lovenia heart urchin (Lovenia elongata), my first time seeing it on Cyrene! It is usually buried in the sand and this one burrowed very quickly back in.
in the middle of the "Industrial Triangle", made up of the Pasir Panjang Container Terminals, and massive industrial facilities on Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom. Today there was flaring at the Bukom petrochemical plants, but the flare seems 'clean' without any black smoke rising from the burn.
More about Cyrene Reef!