13 August 2014

Colourful life on boulders of Punggol

The boulder-strewn shores near Punggol Jetty are encrusted with colourful sponges and other interesting marine life.
Sadly, also lots of trash.

The shore seems even more sparse than my last trip here in Aug 2013, compared to the situation in Jan 2013. The most abundant sponge I saw were the Blue elegant branching sponges. There were also some  Purple branching sponges. As well as a few small clusters of blob ascidians.
I saw small patches of a few other kinds of sponges.
Punggol is othe only place so far where we see lots of this large spectacular Burgundy anemone. There were still lots of them on the shore today.
Punggol also has lots of these tiny sea anemones which have yet to be identified.
There was a 'bloom' of small Green mussels on the jetty legs as well as on the boulders. Among the mussels, there were many Purple climber crabs.
On the boulders were small patches of Zebra coral, as well Worm snails and Crown sea stars

I saw several Black sea urchins clinging onto the boulders in deeper water. I couldn't really look far down the shore where it was soft as my foot still can't manage it.

The water is quite clear (until I step into it and stir up the silt). There were Flower crabs and fishes in the water.
I came across a small patch (1m x 1m) of Hairy spoon seagrasses growing in silty sand near the boulders.
I only came across one Skinny sea fan which seemed to be getting buried in sand.
The narrow shore next to the jetty is covered with small stones. There was a bloom of Caulerpa seaweeds today. Under the stones are all kinds of small creatures such as this Toadfish and young Stone crab. I also saw one Dendrodoris fumata nudibranch.
There are lots of Snapping shrimps on this shore.
I had a friendly chat with this guy who was carefully collecting the larger Green mussels. As bait for fishing he said (he had a fishing rod under one arm). He said to leave the smaller mussels on the shore so they can grow up. He comes to the shore once a week. When I asked, he said the only disturbing incidents he noticed was when the water turned very murky, and another when all the small Green mussels fell off leaving bare patches on the rocks. He feels the Green mussels are safe to eat if they are cooked properly.
 Sadly, the trash situation in Punggol remains disturbing. More in this separate post.

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