10 August 2014

Impact of fish farm on Pulau Semakau?

There is a large fish farm very close to the southern tip of natural Pulau Semakau's shores.
The farm is said to be the largest fish farm in Singapore. It looks much larger than it did when it was first set up in 2008. We have noticed many disturbing impacts of this fish farm on the natural shores of Pulau Semakau.

Trash burnt and ashes dumped into the sea?

In Oct 2013, Pei Yan blogged: "We passed by quite close to the fish farm next to Semakau. There is a barge right next to the fish farm loaded with stacks of bags which may be fish food. On the barge (right side on the photo), there seems to be a large rectangular metal container used for incinerating things. I could see smoke coming out of the rectangular container and smelled something being burnt."
Photo by Heng Pei Yan on her blog.
This is what this similar platform looked like today. We couldn't see a tank on it.
Today we noticed there is a much larger barge in the distance. Here's a view by SG Sea Drone.
Photo by SG Sea Drone taken by Heng Pei Yan.
It is stacked with lots of goods. From the shore, it looks neat and tidy.
When we had a closer look at the large barge, we found a tank that not only looks burnt, but is placed on the barge so that the vertical gap in the tank is positioned over the water. Is trash burnt in this tank and the ashes just chucked into the water?

Storage platform barely afloat?

There is a large floating platforms loaded with what looks like netting, barrels and other items. One edge of the platform is sloping alarmingly into the water. Would items loaded on the platform fall into the water in stormy weather?
This is what the platform looked like when we saw it a year ago in Aug 2013. It seemed to be barely floating above the water. Are such arrangements spotted during AVA's regular site checks? Does AVA approve of such storage arrangements?
In May 2011, a team of volunteers already had to remove a huge net that probably came from the fish farm. It had washed up onto the middle of Pulau Semakau, entangled near the mangroves that include rare and Critically Endangered trees such as Api-api jambu.
This is just a portion of the entire net that we removed.

Fish farm 'storing' equipment on Pulau Semakau's natural shores?

In May 2011, we came across a huge circular contraption 'parked' on the Southern shore of Pulau Semakau that we suspect belongs to the fish farm
Marcus took a photo of this contraption in April 2011 during low tide.
Photo by Marcus Ng, also featured on Nicole's blog.
Here's the location of the fish farm in relation to the shore from Google Earth

click on image for larger view.
Once again, I would like to highlight that the authorities should 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.

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