09 August 2014

Hypodermic needles and other trash found in Lim Chu Kang mangroves

Chua Li San shared some shocking finds at Lim Chu Kang mangroves during an International Coastal Cleanup there today.
Photo by Chua Li San.
Li San shared these in a post on facebook.

She says this "grim finding was a bag of hypodermic syringes and needles contained in a plastic bag layered by another plastic bag. All having standard 21 gauge needle with leur lock syringe for a volume of 6cc. To my medically trained friends out there, do you think is more for phlebotomy (drawing blood), administration of medicine or recreational drug use? It is really hard to imagine a medical facility using plastic bags to contain sharp hazardous waste like this."
Photo by Chua Li San.
It was reported in Jun 2011 that over 30 used syringes were also found during an International Coastal Cleanup at Kranji.

Another astonishing find, Li San says "I pulled a huge industrial plastic bag containing 20 standard sized plastic bags out from the shallower end of the seafront.
Photo by Chua Li San.
Li San adds: "I thought they looked like those that are used to pack live fish during transportation. Ornamental fish or commercial fish fry? I am not very sure though as there were no markings nor logo indicated. But something may be suggestive."
Photo by Chua Li San.
"All the 20 plastic bags had a clean slit made by something sharp. Perhaps the slits were used to release the fry into the fish farms? Possible? What else can this be used for? Have you seen something as peculiar as this before?" Li San asks.

Photo by Chua Li San.
Li San adds: "I can only feel more goose bumps as I dwell further about all the whys, hows and what ifs."

Li San also shared this photo of the pile of large heavy duty trash pulled out of the mangroves by the volunteers today. They appear to have industrial use or were part of a residence. These include large blue drums (often used in make-shift fish farm platforms), large styrofoam containers and large storage containers.
Photo by Chua Li San.
The industries and residences nearest to Lim Chu Kang mangroves are the approximately 60 coastal fish farms licenced by AVA. As indicated on this Google Earth snapshot.
click on image for larger view
Li San also shared this photo of the awesome volunteers who stepped up to help clean up Lim Chu Kang mangroves. This is done every year by the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore. And every year, huge amounts of similar trash is hauled out of the mangroves. Bravo to these dedicated volunteers!
Photo by Chua Li San.
Special thanks to Chua Li San, who not only cleans up the shores but also reports on disturbing finds. For example, she reported finding fish farm trash being dumped BEHIND the security fence onto Pulau Ubin's untouched northern shores in Sep 2013.

The Western coastal fish farms at Lim Chu Kang are provided a large tank and a smaller bin by AVA. The farms are supposed to bring their trash to the shore and dispose them in these containers.
Photo taken in Apr 2014
The tank is huge (Ivan is in the photo for scale). Are these sufficient for the needs of the fish farms? Are they cleared regularly enough. Are the farms provided a way to responsibly dispose of large trash?
Photo taken in Apr 2014
The dumping of trash from fish farms on our shores will not end until the authorities work together to provide all fish farmers a practical and reasonable way to accommodate their trash needs. Today, every business and household on the mainland and every ship parked in port is provided with daily door-to-door trash collection. But all coastal fish farms licenced by AVA are NOT provided with a similar service.

Trash on our recreational beaches costs taxpayers $1.4m a year to clean up! Trash of course is found outside recreational beaches too, such as at Lim Chu Kang mangroves. Large trash damage our mangroves, while all trash adds to environmental blight. Wouldn't it make more sense to prevent as much trash from being tossed into the sea in the first place?

Related links
Fish farm trash on our shores


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