05 March 2015

Dead fish updates: More seen at Sungei Buloh, and other updates

I saw a variety of dead fishes washing up at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Extension this afternoon. Most look freshly dead, with a few that look like they've been floating for a day or more.
The dead fishes were small and large, wild and farmed.


There were about 10-15 dead fishes for every 5m of accumulated floating debris. Both wild and farmed fishes.
This was the largest fish that I saw today. About 35cm long. Is it a farmed mullet?
Fish A: Mullet? Farmed?
I saw about 5 of these fishes (about 25cm long). Farmed mullets too?
Fish B: Mullet? Farmed?
This was the most numerous of the larger dead fishes that I saw, about 15 of them. They were all about the same size (25cm). Are they wild or farmed fish?
Fish C
These look like Green Chromide, wild fishes that are very tough. I saw 5 of them about 25cm long.
Fish D
Fish E
These also look like wild fishes
Fish F: Tripodfish, wild.

Fish G: Ponyfish, wild.
We saw many dead pufferfishes washing up at Pasir Ris so I was quite disturbed to see one today.
Fish H: Pufferfish?, wild.
There was a small flotilla of these tiny fishes.
Fish G
Here's a short video clip of these small fishes.

I chatted briefly with various visitors and people at the Reserve. I gathered that there was a bad stench yesterday (4 Mar) and the day before (3 Mar) near the Visitor Centre (next to Kranji Dam). I smelt that too when I was there yesterday. A handful of 15cm long dead fishes were also seen at the Mangrove Boardwalk. I went to the Main Bridge and did not see any dead fishes. The tide was outgoing fast and I didn't see any wild fishes under the bridge either.

I made a quick stop at Lim Chu Kang Jetty. There is a great deal of marine debris, rubbish and litter, as usual. But I couldn't smell or see any dead fishes.
Here's a video clip of the trash at the jetty. It appears my Swimming Camera is developing fog...oh dear.

Update on dead fishes at Pasir Ris

Update at Pasir Ris this morning from a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous: "Dead fish smell gone and replaced by Palm oil residues. Looks like polystyrene but is not. Comedian big chunks (shell for scale) or very small ones. All sizes. Nodules range from a few mm to big blocks. They are white, greyish and creamy sticky texture when pressed on. Floating and deposited by waves. Very common for here. More common than dead fish. No new seagrass leaves washing up. Palm oil dense with strong smell west of Sungei Api Api, less dense between Sg. Api Api and Sg. Tampines. Clear after Sg. Tampines."
And bravo to Adventurepaddlers WaterCross for initiating a Marine Watch seeking sightings of palm oil residue in our waters.

I heard from a nature guide at Sungei Buloh that he was at the Pasir Ris boardwalk jetty over Sungei Tampines yesterday and there was a very bad stench there.

Update on Admiralty and Woodlands Waterfront

Thank you for this very valuable report from someone who wishes to be known only as "A concerned citizen":  "I just saw your post about the Dead Fish Alert and would like to update you on the situation over at Admiralty and Woodlands Waterfront. It seems that the entire Woodlands area is clear of mass fish deaths for some unknown reason. The algae bloom seems to affect only certain shoreline areas. I walk along the waterfront promenade via admiralty park on a regular basis and have never seen any piles of dead fish. I even saw a family of otters and monitor lizards swimming blissfully in Sungei Cina a few days ago. The water quality in the straits just beside the waterfront seems to be good on most days."

You CAN make a difference: Dead Fish Alert!

Please help me monitor dead fishes washing up on the Johor Straits. Please let me know if you see large numbers (more than 10) especially of large dead fishes (more than 20cm long) washing up on the northern shores such as Pulau Ubin, Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Buloh, Kranji, Woodlands Waterfront, Sembawang, Punggol, Lorong Halus, Pasir Ris, Changi.

There are too many shores for me to personally check, so I really appreciate any info or photos that you can share. Thank you!

2 comments:

  1. Fish A: Milkfish, possibly farmed
    Fish B: Some sort of Croaker (Family Sciaenidae), wild
    Fish C: Spotted Sicklefish (Drepane punctata), wild
    Fish D and E: Likely Tilapia, although D could also be a Mayan Cichlid. Both are non-native cichlids that have become established in these waters, alongside Green Chromides.

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