|from the St John's Island Marine Laboratory facebook page.|
Singapore has overcome some limits that other cities and countries will eventually bump up against. Limited land, limited freshwater. Despite massive industrialisation and urbanisation of our coastlines, Singapore still has some amazing shores rich with marine life. Like Cyrene Reef which lies in the middle of the industrial triangle of world class port, intense petrochemical industries and busy shipping lanes.
Singapore lies at the heart of some of the world's longest tropical coastlines. The countries around us are archipelagos with vast marine resources. Like Singapore, they too are rapidly urbanising, building ports, heavy industries along their coasts. Their marine ecosystems remain vital: for subsistence living, aquaculture, eco-tourism, fisheries and national pride. They too will have to deal with rising seas.
|from Asian countries with the longest coastline|
The Marine Laboratory on St. John's Island of the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) is the only field marine laboratory in Singapore. It is thus a critical part of learning and eventually sharing (and making money out of) ways to manage development and marine conservation.
I was thus surprised and sad to learn that the Marine Lab would be shut down because it would "soon be unable to cover its operating costs."
The Marine Lab holds a special place in my heart because of TMSI's many activities to reach out to ordinary people like me. The Marine Lab organises guided walks at St John's Island for schools and other groups. Which not only engages the visitors but also the volunteer student guides that help our during the walks.
|First TMSI guided walk for schools.|
Photo by Teo Siyang on his blog.
|Heng Pei Yan sharing about our marine life at the water table.|
|Field survey during the Sea Anemone Workshop, 2011|
|Prof Daphne Fautin teaches with the ample resources and|
facilities at the Marine Lab, St. John's Island
during the Sea Anemone Workshop, 2011
|Mei Lin with a Giant clam on Pulau Jong next to major shipping lanes|
and the massive petrochemical plants at Pulau Bukom.
|Mei Lin's final year project.|
TMSI Open House celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Marine Lab in 2012. It would be such a pity that a decade of such outstanding work is to end just because of costs.
I hope a way can be found to look beyond the price, and realise the value of Singapore's only marine lab, so that it can continue its good work for marine conservation in Singapore and the region.
- St. John's Island Marine Laboratory facebook page with lots more about the work and people at the Lab.
- Tropical Marine Science Institute website
- Facility on St John's Island beset by rising costs, may slash its operations, by Grace Chua, Straits Times 18 Jan 14;
- Marine study centre aims to swim with the best Decade-old St John's station 'needs long-term funding' to fulfil potential, by Grace Chua Straits Times 2 Oct 12;
- Singapore's only marine station - Tropical Marine Science Institute, St John's Island
- Celebrating 10 years of Tropical Marine Science Laboratory on St John's Island
Related posts in this blog
- What I learnt at the TMSI Open House
- Sharing about our shores at TMSI
- Nature walks at St. John's Island with the Tropical Marine Science Institute
- Marine workshops held at the St John's Island marine station