31 May 2017

Punggol after the oil spill

This rocky shore is directly opposite the source of the 300-tonne oil spill in the East Johor Strait in January at Pasir Gudang Port in Johor.
Rocky shore of Punggol
Five months later, I'm glad to find life on the shore. Although the diversity is much lower than in the past and I think the invasive mussels I saw in Kranji (the West Johor Strait) is also here.


Here's a video clip of the shore. This is the first time I am on the shore at low tide to look at impact. Although I did briefly survey the shore from a distance on the day the oil spill happened: 4 Jan 2017 and the day after 5 Jan 2017. My last low-tide survey was two years ago in May 2015.
Punggol rocky shore after the East Johor Strait oil spill
The rocky shore near the Jetty seems alright. With a sprinkling of sponges. And tufts of Sea lettuce seaweed. But I didn't see any seagrasses here.
Living rocky shores of Punggol
The Jetty legs are coated in various animals as well as a variety of mussels: Green mussels, and Little black mussels.
There is lots of Green mussels and Little black mussels growing on the rocks too. Also some sponges.
Living rocky shores of Punggol
Some of the mussels look like those we saw at Kranji in Mar 2017, and which I later learned could be an invasive species. Oh dear. Alarming to know they might also take hold in the East Johor Strait.
Unidentified mussels at Punggol
There were also lots of dead shells of the mussels.
Unidentified mussels at Punggol
The dominant sponge was blue Elegant branching sponge which were growing everywhere. Most looked alright, although some clumps had 'bleaching' portions. There were small clumps of other kinds of sponges.
I saw only a few ascidians.
I saw this strange anemone with orange tentacles. It was everywhere on the rocky shore and at first glance looked like Banded bead anemones.
There were also many Banded bead anemones, and Lined bead anemones. I also saw one Big hermit hitching anemone and three Burgundy anemones.
Punggol is the stronghold of the intriguing Burgundy anemone, which is not found in large numbers elsewhere. We did find a few of them today, but not as many as before.
Living on the edge: Burgundy anemone (Bunodosoma goanense)
I saw some some Drill eggs and we came across an egg ribbon laid by a nudibranch.
There were also many onch slugs on the shadier side of large boulders.
Big pimply onch slugs (Family Onchidiidae)
I saw a small clump of Worm snails, and one small patch of Zebra coral.
I saw a few large crystals on the shore. Are they some kind of waste material?

This shore faces all kinds of threats and I hope it will stay well until we visit it again.

Posts about the Jan 2017 Johor Strait oil spill
Survey on 10 Feb, one month after the oil spill
Other surveys and news posts

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