Thousands of dead farm fishes are floating into Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, raising a stink and many questions.
July 2013. What is the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) doing to prevent such mass littering incidents from occurring repeatedly? Why don't Singapore farms raise native fishes which are better adapted to our waters?
Here's a closer look at some of the dead fishes. They were all about the same size, about 40cm long and all of the same kind. They look similar to the dead fishes that floated up at Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Buloh last year.
square-tailed mullets swimming happily around under the dead farm fish. I asked and Shannon Lim of OnHand Agrarian kindly told me: "The dead fishes are farmed grey mullet that were imported from Taiwan. Which is ridiculously weird considering Singapore has a more efficient, adapted local variety that breeds like rats on tongkat ali, in and around the cages of the farmed imported grey mullet." Yes, I do wonder why Singapore farms don't raise native fishes which are better adapted to our waters?
Feb 2014. Just last week, at Pulau Ubin there were early signs of a plankton bloom with brown 'teh-o' water and AVA sending an sms alert to farmers there.
I don't know how extensive this recent incident at the Western fish farms is. But if it serious, I hope AVA stops farms from continuing to dump dead fishes into the water. AVA should also provide manpower and other resources to help clean up the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve of the dead farm fishes. The rotting fishes make the Reserve smell like a giant salted fish factory, already drawing comments from the few visitors I met today. It is not fair to expect Buloh staff and volunteers to clean up what the farmers are dumping into the water. The Easter long weekend begins tomorrow. There will be lots of visitors to the Reserve then and they will be certain to notice this incident and ask questions.