19 October 2009

What a load of rubbish

Yesterday, I did a short recce of the marine debris that has accumulated on some of the more remote corners of Pulau Semakau.
This patch is particularly worrying. Here's Sijie standing next to the huge pile of wood accumulating behind some mangrove trees on the shore.

This debris did NOT come from the Semakau Landfill. Disposal on the Landfill is very scrupulously managed.
This debris drifted onto the natural part of Pulau Semakau from elsewhere, with every incoming tide. And have probably not been removed for years.
There were many large planks and logs that are jammed among the mangrove tree roots.
The large debris banging against the trees at every tide can't be good for the mangroves.
Indeed, many of the trees in this area looked ill. Like this Rhizophora apiculata whose leaves were covered in some sort of mould.
The debris lines the high water mark for long stretches.
Including large ropes.
Mixed with the usual styrofoam and plastic debris.
Some of the debris is even well above the high water mark, inside the coastal vegetation.
The huge road divider is still on the shore.
Further down below the low water mark, more debris. Most are fishing related. Such as this enormous drift net that is draped around a mangrove tree.
There are also many abandoned fish traps on the shore.
As well as crab traps.
This is a big job to remove. So I'm glad the Navy volunteers are looking at removing these debris. Fabulous!
Here's Nelson and Bernard who joined us for this recce to work out a way to get this done.
This is a unique opportunity to deal with this accumulation once and for all. Giving the mangroves and seagrass meadows and shore habitats on Pulau Semakau a chance to be free of debris. At least for a while.

Bravo to the Navy for tackling this!

And thanks also to TeamSeagrass for letting us do this recce during the monitoring at Pulau Semakau.

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