18 February 2014

MPA and Sentosa will remove large debris at Kusu Island

Hurray! The authorities will remove the mattresses and other large debris seen at Kusu Island recently!
It was heartbreaking to see a variety of large debris on the rich reefs of Kusu Island, that also took the brunt of an oil spill, one of the three in early 2014.
Metal structure dumped on living reefs of Kusu Island.
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng shared on his blog.

On 31 Jan 2014, volunteers documented oil spill impact, as well as large trash, together with lots of photos of the beautiful marine life on Kusu Island which are going to be hurt until the debris is removed.

Here's all the photos and where they were found on Kusu Island.

I emailed MPA the above map and photos kindly compiled by Kok Sheng, Pei Yan and Chay Hoon. I added that some months ago, I heard that NParks and volunteers also encountered these mattresses on Kusu Island, as well as similar mattresses and other debris at Seringat-Kias and Lazarus Island. The debris is too large for ordinary people to remove on our own.

I mentioned that I was very impressed by MPA's prompt response to the Hantu Bloggers and the successful effort to remove, trace and penalise those who dumped large construction debris at Pulau Hantu in September 2013 as highlighted in these posts on the Hantu Blog:

So I asked if MPA could please help make a similar effort to remove the debris strewn all around Kusu Island and at Seringat-Kias and Lazarus Island too? I added that it would also be good if MPA could also find out who did this and penalise them. This would hopefully deter others from dumping large debris on our beautiful shores.

I also asked MPA to let me know how volunteers can help MPA in this. I was sure volunteers will be delighted to help in the removal and to document and share online the good work done by MPA in dealing with this heartbreaking issue.

I has also sent the same information to Grace Lee of Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

Today, Low Yue Wen from the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) told me that they did a few checks and found that the debris (which we took photos of) was left by a collision that took place last year. She added that "Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) is aware of the situation and they are in the process of the clearing the debris. However, they also mentioned that the clean-up efforts are subjected to tidal conditions and they seek your understanding on it."

Yes, indeed, there are very few suitable low spring tides this time of the year. So it will take time to to do a safe removal of the debris.

But I am so relieved that there are people at MPA and SDC who are going the extra mile to clear the debris at Kusu Island. Thank you!


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