08 March 2011

Have you seen a dolphin? SWiMMS on facebook and more!

Petrina shares about our wild dolphins with the boat operators today! She is with The Singapore Wild Marine Mammal Survey (SWiMMS) programme and hopes to get more people to share their sightings.
SWiMMS is also now on facebook and has a map of sightings in our waters!

The boat operators that we regularly rely on for our offshore trips work 24/7 and travel all over our waters. They do love the sea and our marine life. And often share with me about dolphins and other animals they have seen. So it would be great if they can contribute to SWiMMS' effort to find out more about our dolphins!

Today, I introduced Petrina to the boat operators at Marine South Pier and West Coast Pier. Here she is sharing about the programme with the kind people at Singapore Island Cruise who run the daily ferry to Kusu Island and St. John's, among many other services that they provide. They are the ones who also bring us to Pulau Semakau for marine monitoring and large group walks.
Then we quickly hopped over to West Coast Pier, where she once again got warm and interested support for the programme.

What is SWiMMS about?

The Singapore Wild Marine Mammal Survey (SWiMMS) is a programme hoping to monitor the dolphin, porpoise and dugong populations in Singapore waters by establishing a volunteer network and reporting system.

Why are wild marine mammal sightings important?
Pilot studies by the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI), National University of Singapore (NUS) have shown that several species of coastal dolphins, the finless porpoise and dugong are sighted in Singapore waters.

It appears likely that Singapore and neighbouring waters are important for coastal and riverine marine mammals in that together they form a habitat for these animals. However, more information is required to strengthen this concept of an extended habitat. With increasing coastal development and climate change, continued monitoring of marine mammals is essential to ensure their long-term survival.

You CAN make a difference!
If you should see a marine mammal in Singapore or regional waters, please let SWiMMS know. Email swimms@nus.edu.sg or fill in their on-line reporting form with as much information as you can.

SWiMMS has a facebook page!
In the latest update, a finless porpoise was sighted off Changi on 7 Mar!

The SWiMMS website also has a map showing the sightings of these animals in Singapore waters. The map is updated with the latest sightings!

So send in your sightings now!

Here's a glimpse at some of the SWiMMS materials Petrina shared today. Explaining the different types of marine mammal that can be seen in Singapore waters and the work done by the Marine Mammal Research Laboratory. The materials are available in English, Mandarin and Malay.

If you would like hardcopies of these materials, or their lovely posters, please visit their website for more contact and other details: http://www.tmsi.nus.edu.sg/mmrl.

See also my ealier post about the SWiMMS programme and the recent Straits Times article by Grace Chua about the programme.

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