06 December 2015

A few dead fishes at East Johor Straits

Thanks to an alert, I spotted a few dead farmed fishes off Changi Sailing Club Saturday (5 Dec). Thanks to more alerts, I also checked Pasir Ris on Sunday (6 Dec). On Monday morning (7 Dec) a regular beach walker spotted a few dead wild fishes.
Dead fishes are a symptom of poor water quality. And there were signs of many issues affecting water quality. From trash to freshwater inflows and coastal works. Please help me monitor the situation and let me know if you see any dead fishes.


It was a lovely windy afternoon at Changi and many were enjoying the beach.
I only saw 5 dead fishes at Changi near the Changi Sailing Club. They were mostly farmed fishes
Fish A: Pompano, farmed
Fish B: Pompano, farmed
Fish C: Grouper, farmed
Fish D: Grouper
Fish E: Mullet
There were also a few large clumps of palm oil waste, a highly damaging substance that seriously affects marine ecosystems. More about it here.
I made a quick stop at Pasir Ris Park near Carpark A. Like most of our shoreline, there is severe erosion and efforts to control these include seawalls made of stone and sand bags.
There was a large barge with a crane near the 'Blue Drums' security barrier. I have no idea what it is doing there.
I only saw two small dead fishes during a brief walk down the shore. I left as lightning and rain started to build up nearby.
Fish F: I'm not quite sure what it is.
Fish G: Eeltail catfish, wild
Thanks to Wan Siew Onn for sharing that on 5 Dec morning, he spotted 4-5 Pompano type fishes floating off Pasir Ris while he was kayaking from Water Venture to Coney Island. So I decided to check out western Pasir Ris shore today to see if there were any more dead fishes. It was a lovely day with lots of people enjoying sea sports there.
I didn't come across any dead fishes. But did come across this large dead verterbrate. I have no idea what it is.
The water colour looks kind of normal. But it's hard to tell without expert testing. Nevertheless, there are plenty of signs of activities that impact water quality in the East Johor Strait.
All along the shoreline, I saw clumps of freshwater weeds washing up. From the sluice gates operating at Serangoon Dam? How does the sluice gate operations affect water quality in the area? Are these impacts considered in sluice gate operations?
There was this large lump of what looked like palm oil waste leaking stuff that doesn't look pleasant.
Also white stuff floating on the tide line, possibly also palm oil waste.
I checked the area just outside the Park boundaries. This area is rarely cleaned and as usual, there is a build up of marine trash.
Today, this includes a mattress.
This shoreline is heavily trashed.
A glorious day, a beautiful beach, but lots of trash.
Large vessels regularly ply the narrow Strait, on the way to and from Pasir Gudang in Johor or Sembawang shipyard in Singapore.
The pipes that I used to see leaking spectacularly appear to be unused and falling apart.
The area where I saw an excavator clearing the area in Apr 2015 is now nicely vegetated.
At the end of the shore is the Commando jetty as well as Lorong Halus jetty. It looks like the massive construction at the Commando jetty is finished?
There were lovely wild seashore plants in bloom in this unmanicured shore. These include Sea almond, Common derris and the gorgeous golden blooms of Kuku tupai.


[Update 7 Dec: a regular beach walker who wishes to be known as "Pasir Ris Beach Watch" spotted these fishes this morning. As well as lots of palm oil waste.
Fishes H: Sea catfishes, wild
Fish I: Unknown fish
Fish J: Some sort of burrowing eel or eel-like fish, wild
Fish K: 'Tamban'? with little balls of palm oil waste
Closer look at palm oil waste on the tideline.
Update 28 Dec: Richard Kuah shared sightings of these dead fishes at Coney Island.
Update 30 Dec: a regular beach walker who wishes to be known as "Pasir Ris Beach Watch" spotted these dead animals. As well as a horseshoe crab and an uprooted carpet anemone.

I do hope the small signs of dead fishes are not the beginning of another mass fish death. But it's good to keep an eye on the situation.

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 20) 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, Sembawang, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi.

Thank you!

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