12 February 2014

Your help needed! Take photos of disposal tank at Changi for dead fishes

True or false? AVA says a skid tank will be placed at Changi Point Ferry Terminal where farmers can dispose of dead fish in response to recent mass fish deaths, according to Today Online.
Where is the skid tank?
If you are at Changi Point or going to Pulau Ubin, please stop by the area next to the Ferry Terminal near the bridge over Changi Creek and take photos for me? Thank you!

Where is Changi Point Ferry Terminal?

It is at Changi Village, the place where we take the bumboat to Pulau Ubin. Here it is on streetdirectory.com

What is a skid tank?


It is a huge metal tank, about the size of a small car, intended for industrial waste. Below is the skid tank provided for Western coastal fish farms (located near Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve) next to the makeshift jetty at the end of Lim Chu Kang Road. There are more photos of the Lim Chu Kang skid tank in sgbeachbum's post.

Does the skid tank at Changi exist?

AVA’s Parliamentary reply in Nov 2013 suggested “waste collection points are available at Changi Creek” for Eastern coastal fish farms (mostly located around Pulau Ubin and opposite Pasir Ris). But when I visited the Changi area about a week after the Parliamentary reply, I couldn't find any sort of container or collection point for fish farmers to use.

These are photos I took on 22 Nov 2013 of the area next to Changi Point Ferry Terminal which is set aside for the Eastern coastal fish farmers to load and unload their goods.
As you can see, no skid tank or any sort of large container for industrial farm trash anywhere within easy reach of the fish farmers' loading and unloading area.
The AVA boat (the white and blue boat in the middle of the photo below) appears to regularly dock in this area, so AVA should be very familiar with what is and what is not present in this site.
Here's a look at the AVA boat parked alongside the Ferry Terminal. The covered area on the left is the Ferry Terminal proper, which is separated by the locked brown gate from the area set aside for the Eastern coastal fish farmers to the right.

Why am I so suspicious?

For more than a year, I've been quietly asking AVA about providing daily door-to-door trash collection for the 119 coastal fish farms licenced by AVA (as at Aug 2012).

My own checks on the ground suggest most of the ‘approved waste containers’ that AVA told me it provided for Eastern coastal fish farms do not seem to exist. So I really need your help to find out if the skid tank AVA says it is providing at Changi actually does exist. Thank you!

How you can help!

If you are going to Pulau Ubin, please stop by the area next to the Ferry Terminal near the bridge over Changi Creek and take photos of

(a) The skid tank including
  • its contents and how full the tank is
  • any notices/messages, names of companies on it 
(b) If there is no skid tank, then a photo of the general area to show that there is no skid tank. Like the photos I took above.

You can post the photos on facebook and tag me Ria Tan, or email them to me at hello@wildsingapore.com if you're ok with me blogging your photos. I broke my foot and I am still not very mobile so I really need all your help. THANK YOU!!

Update on 12 Feb (Wed) 4pm: Thanks to Toh Chay Hoon who shared this photo on 12 Feb, we know there IS a skid tank next to Changi Point Ferry Terminal. It doesn't look very full though. Chay Hoon took this photo at 2pm and it looked the same when she passed it again at 5pm. The tank number was 5A-11-04. A bumboat operator told her it was placed there yesterday. Chay Hoon also saw lots of dead farm fishes as well as wild fishes washed up at Changi Point as well as the shore opposite the Civil Service Club.
Photo by Toh Chay Hoon taken on 12 Feb 2014

Update 12 Feb (Wed) 8pm: I looked back at the Today Online article and it appears they added these four photos of dead fishes being tossed into the skid tank in an update of their article at 4.30pm. The tank number was 5A-11-04 so it's the same one photographed by Chay Hoon. From Chay Hoon's photo of the skid tank taken at 2pm, it looks like not much more dead fishes had been added to the skid tank since the photos were taken for the Today Online article update...

Update 13 Feb (Thu) at 9pm: Thanks to Fung Tze Kwan for these photos taken on 13 Feb at around 6pm of a new tank, number 5A-304. The tank is not very full and Tze Kwan reports there wasn't any smell, so it may not be full of dead fishes (it's hard to tell on the ground).

Also on 13 Feb, thanks to Heng Pei Yan for finding all the important media uploads, including this Channel 8 news video clip of lots of dead farm fishes washing up at Changi Beach (i.e., not disposed of properly).

The clip includes footage of someone apparently "secretly discarding dead fish" -- he appears to be burying them in the sand on the beach with a shovel, in this screen grab below.

Update 14 Feb (Fri) at 9am: Tank number 5A-304 was still there and didn't seem to contain much more than when Tze Kwan photographed it the day before at 6pm.
At 2pm on 14 Feb, another photo was submitted, this time of a new tank, number 5A-13-012 which seemed quite empty.
At 5.30pm, yet another photo was submitted, this time of a new tank being laid down number 5A-077.
Also on 14 Feb, dead fishes continue to wash ashore at Pasir Ris and Changi, from surveys done by volunteers. The entire stretch of Pasir Ris was surveyed by Heng Pei Yan and Loh Kok Sheng. At Changi, Monday Morgue reported "Lots of fishes that were likely from the fish farms (e.g. groupers, snappers, barramundi, pompano and golden trevally), but there were quite a number of wild fishes affected as well." More photos of dead fish at Changi on 14 Feb by Ivan Kwan.


Update 15 Feb (Sat) at 8am: SG Grace sent this photo of tank number 5A-077 adding that there was no smell and it was empty.
At 9.30am, Tony Seow shared this photo of the same tank, taken from the bridge over Changi Creek. It still doesn't look full.
At 9.30am, Shu Yi shared this photo of the same tank.
At noon, Hester Tan shared this photo of the same tank adding "it stinks and looks empty".
Hester shortly shared this additional photo and information: "I talked to a security guard. He told me that it's the 7th bin and say today tmr will be the last day. Then he helped me to capture this shot." Wow, that's very important information and a great photo of what is actually inside the tank.
At 2pm, Shu Yi sent a second photo and commented "There's a stench coming from there".
Update 17 Feb (Mon), 1pm: Sadly, I did not receive any photos of the skid tank on 16 Feb (Sun). Thanks to Fung Tze Kwan we know there was no skid tank at the location on 17 Feb (Mon) at 1pm.
Update 19 Feb (Wed), 5pm: No photo of the area for 18 Feb (Tue), but on this day NMP Faizah Jamal told Minister Dr Maliki in Parliament that this tank had disappeared since Monday. She also said she couldn't find the skid tank after AVA’s Parliamentary reply in Nov 2013. To which the Minister replied "The skid at Changi Creek, I will ask AVA to investigate what happened. If your observation is right, we have to find out exactly who is responsible for that."

Thanks to Fung Tze Kwan, we know the tank is back on 19 Feb (Wed)! And it is smelly. She added "Uncles who hang around that area said not many fish death past two days. Today got again, so got tank." Tank number 5A-298. Thank you Tze Kwan for checking it out and asking around about it.
Update 20 Feb (Thu) 7pm: No tank.
Update 21 Feb (Fri) 7pm: No tank. Thanks to Noven Chew for this photo. Noven is one of the fish farmers affected by the mass fish deaths. Her story was featured in this newspaper article.
22 Feb (Sat) 7.30am: No tank. Has it gone forever? What should the Eastern fish farmers now do with their dead fish and fish farm trash?

22 Feb (Sat) 10.45am: Still no tank. Thanks to Sean Yap for taking and sharing the photo.
23 Feb (Sun) 7pm: Still no tank.
Click on the photo for a larger view.
24 Feb (Mon) and 25 Feb (Tue): No photos submitted.

26 Feb (Wed) 9.30am: No tank, thanks to Fung Tze Kwan for the photo.
26 Feb (Wed) 5pm: Still no tank, thanks to Fung Tze Kwan for the photo.
27 Feb (Thu) 6pm: No tank. Thank you to Noven Chew, a fish farmer, for the photo. No photo on 28 Feb (Fri).
Update 1 Mar (Sat) 1.30pm: No tank. Photo thanks to Toh Chay Hoon.
1 Mar (Sat) 4.30pm: No tank. Photo thanks to Heng Pei Yan.
1 Mar (Sat) 8pm: No tank, but there's a cute cat. Photo thanks to Toh Chay Hoon.
2 Mar (Sun): No tank. Photo below thanks to Noven Chew. SG Grace also shared that she didn't see a tank when she arrived at the jetty about 1pm. Also no tank on her way home from Ubin at around 650pm. Thank you Noven and Grace!
No photo on 3 Mar (Mon) but on 4 Mar (Tue) 3pm: No tank. Photo below thanks to Noven Chew.
No photo on 5 Mar (Wed) but on 6 Mar (Thu) 7pm: No tank. Photo below thanks to Noven Chew.

Thanks to all those who braved the stench and submitted photos so far! The photos are helping us keep track of what is happening out there.

Update 7 Mar (Fri): Tank Watch is suspended! During a meeting with AVA on 7 Mar (Fri) 4.30pm; AVA informed me that AVA activated Changi Creek skid tank for farmers only because of the mass fish deaths, to throw dead fish. The skid was available 11-16 Feb, and one day on 19 Feb because one farm reported fish kill. The skid tank is not a permanent feature for Eastern farmers. There was never a skid tank at Changi Creek before the Feb 2014 mass fish death incident. Full meeting discussions in this google doc available for public viewing http://tinyurl.com/AVAmtg7Mar

Please continue to send me photos of the area where the skid tank used to be so we know whether it is still there or has been permanently removed. Comments and info shared by people around the area on the tank would also be very helpful. Thank you everyone!

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