A lovely blue sky day exploring a small lagoon at Pulau Ubin next to Outward Bound Singapore yesterday. I last visited this shore in Jun 2008, when its lush seagrass meadows reminded me of Chek Jawa.
Thanks to the kind invitation of Alex Tan of OBS, the regular team had a chance to visit this 'mini-Chek Jawa next to their facilities on Pulau Ubin.
sand star and rock stars that are found on the shore.
crab moults and other interesting critters. We saw swimming crabs, stone crabs and porcelain crabs. Many tiny hermit crabs and the Blue striped hermit crab. Thanks also to Richard Kuah.
'Bill' a yet-to-be-identified large sea anemone. We also saw several Spiral babylonia snails and the black eggs of some kind of sotong. Later on, an octopus was found on the way home!
Where have the seagrasses gone?
I was most dismayed to learn that there are probably zero seagrasses anywhere in the lagoon. We didn't see any growing or even any seagrass bits being washed up on the shore.
Haddon's carpet anemones on the sand bar at the mouth of the lagoon, but no seagrasses.
My first trip to this shore was in March 2008, at a not-so-low tide. The tides appear similar as our trip yesterday.
This was my second trip to this shore. The tide was a lot lower and I saw a lagoon full of seagrasses with marine life commonly seen at Chek Jawa. The lower tide exposed seagrasses growing even in the area near OBS. Perhaps the seagrasses are still on this shore but are in deeper water? We do hope to return on a lower spring tide to check up on this.
since around 2014.
Looking back, I realise the decline was probably already happening during my third visit to this lagoon. I was there for the Mega Marine Survey's mini-expedition with some volunteers so I didn't really pay attention to the shoreline.
What has changed in Jan 2016?
Yesterday, I noticed a great deal of erosion on the western shore of the bay. With large coastal forest trees falling onto the shore.
Another exciting collaboration of stakeholders for Pulau Ubin's ecosystems is the Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative which hopes to give Mother Nature a hand in planting mangroves back in areas abandoned aquaculture ponds in Pulau Ubin.
Fortunately, the water at Punggol Jetty was no longer black, like it was on 20 Jan 2016. But we are now in a critical time of the year when plankton blooms are likely to occur, killing farmed and wild fishes and affect marine ecosystems. The spring tides help to flush the water, but these ended yesterday. The risk of a plankton bloom will rise until the next spring tides which occur during Lunar New Year.
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.
Photos by others on this trip