11 November 2011

Quick driftnet removal at Pulau Semakau

It's heartbreaking to find another abandoned driftnet tied to mangrove trees at Pulau Semakau.
We came across this stretch during a Mega Marine Survey of the mudflats here.

The nets are purposely tied to mangrove trees and roots. What I could see stretched for about 30m.
The nets have been tied up here and left behind for so long that the living mangrove roots have started to get squeezed by the ropes.
In some areas, there are two layers of nets.
The nets also trap mangrove seedlings.
Ian and Brian gave me a hand to remove some of the nets.
And Mark released a Mangrove horseshoe crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) that was just recently trapped in the net.
It was about 20cm in diameter and it's the first time I've seen a Mangrove horseshoe crab at Pulau Semakau. Usually, I see the Coastal horseshoe crab (Tachypleus gigas).
Here's  Ian taking a photo of Mark holding the horseshoe crab with Brian all covered in mud, and other volunteers of the Mega Marine Survey.
The pile we hauled out was 54cm x 40cm x 14xm in volume. I think we only removed about 15m of the net. There were two kinds of nets, a monofilament net with a mesh of about 7cm and a fibre one with a mesh of about 8cm.

Thanks to Mark, Ian and Brian for helping to pull out the nets.

We only did this after we finished the Mega Marine Survey, so we didn't have time to clear all the nets. Fortunately, Project Driftnet is scheduled for a trip to Semakau soon, specifically to pull out abandoned nets and traps. Hopefully we can do a more thorough job then.

1 comment:

  1. Great work guys! Every net removed counts and more power to you all!



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