13 August 2011

Exciting updates on the Mega Marine Survey!

A possibly new genus and species of goby has been found during our Survey of Lim Chu Kang!
Today, we learnt more about discoveries at the Mega Marine Survey. And exciting new activities such as more 'exotic' locations to survey and opportunities to help in the laboratory. Volunteers will also be needed in the upcoming surveys of the seabed, reefs (SCUBA and low tide reef walks) and workshops of international experts.

Since November 2010, the Survey has covered 31 sites in 15 location. In addition to the surveys done with volunteers, the TMSI team also surveyed some additional sites on their own.  There are plans to revisit some of these sites with volunteers, AND to visit more areas in future including Labrador/Pasir Panjang, the Southern Islands live firing islands, Western Catchment, Simpang, Pulau Punggol, Pulau Ketam and Pulau Tekong.

One of the upcoming volunteer opportunities are to help in lab sessions! Volunteers can help sort out the many many samples already collected (only 10% has been sorted out so far!). Help is needed to sort out invertebrates, fishes and meiofauna. Meiofauna are tiny animals that live among the sediment grains that are smaller than 1mm! They sure look fascinating, through a microscope! Thus the sorting of these teeny tiny critters will have to done in the lab!
Each lab session will last about 2-3 hours. If there is interest, volunteers can also learn to help in specimen preparation. For example, to identify worms, their tiny hairs have to be prepared. For snails, their teeth. The plans are to hold lab session at TMSI at St. John's Island.

Looking well ahead, in 2012 to 2014, part II of the Survey will include sampling of the seabed within Singapore Port Limits using a scientific research vessel. Volunteers can also help onboard the vessel as well as at the laboratory in sorting and identifying animals.

Also in 2012-2014, part III of the Survey will involve sampling of intertidal and subtidal reefs in Singapore Strait via SCUBA supplemented by reef walks during low tide. Volunteers are needed both in and out of water for sampling invertebrates and fish.

There are also plans to hold two international workshops where local and international experts will be invited to work on Singapore's marine life for 3 weeks. Volunteers will also be needed to help these experts look for marine life and to process the finds. The plan is to hold a Johor Strait workshop in October 2012 and a Singapore Strait workshop in May 2013.

More details on the Mega Marine Survey blog.

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