There is an amazing reef that has settled naturally on the artificial seawalls at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Once a year, Kok Sheng the Human Climbing Crab surveys it to make sure it is well. He shares awesome photos of this reef on his blog: 2011 and 2010 and 2009.
We arrive at dawn, on one of the very few daylight super low tides that happens in the year. This is why we can only do this survey once a year. The first problem is to get down the very slippery rocky shore without killing ourselves. Then, to try survey the area without crunching on live corals, or stepping on Mr Stonefish.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) are abundant. I could only use Sneaky Swimming Camera, who doesn't really take good photos. So here's some close ups of nice large colonies.
Disk corals (Turbinaria sp.) of various kinds.
Lettuce corals (Pavona sp.). Some of them look like Sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.) but a closer look reveals their distinctive Pavona corallites. Some of them look like large pineapples!
Mushroom corals (Fungia sp.), still stuck to rocks, and a small colony of Bracket mushroom coral (Podabacia sp.).
Acropora coral (Acropora sp.) colonies further away from the wall, and some closer to me. I also came across a few small colonies of Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.).
Brain corals (Family Mussidae) near the seawall.
Sally-light-foot crab (Grapsus albolineatus) doing a far better job clinging to rocks that I did. And Red eyed reef crab (Eriphia ferox).
brittle stars and one Frilly sea anemone (Phymanthus sp.).
Spurred turban snail (Astralium calcar) which I don't see very often, and Dolphin shell snail (Angaria delphinus).
massive oil spill of May 2010 and global coral bleaching in the same year. It was good to see that most of the corals seemed healthy. With a good variety of species. While I can survey the other intertidal parts of Tanah Merah every month or so, this stretch can only be done once a year.
As we left, we noticed a strange set up at the Ferry Terminal. The sign says its a Seimens water project.
Water Online dissolved air floatation aims to "recover valuable materials; such as fats, greases, oils, latex, pulp and paper fibers, heat and water for re-use" and that the "clarified effluent is generally acceptable for safe disposal, return to process or for other plant uses."
Siemens page on dissolved air floatation. But there's an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I shall be writing to them to ask them what this is all about. Here's their explanation of the project and my additional questions to their reply.
Tomorrow, we head out South to check out a submerged reef next to the Semakau Landfill. And this reef is so much easier to explore than the one we did today. Singapore has amazing reefs and shores, and not enough low tides to cover them all thoroughly!
Posts by others on this trip