04 March 2015

Dead fish update: How are Pasir Ris mangroves?

Are the dead fishes affecting wildlife at Pasir Ris mangroves? Sankar and I made a brief survey last night to find out. This is the first thing we saw, probably a dead eel or eel-like fish and not a snake.
But it appears the mass deaths of wild fishes is tapering off.

Another dead eel or eel-like fish.
This one might be a snake but might also be an eel or eel-like fish. My photo was too poor to tell for sure. Sorry.
We found some large dead fishes in the dark just from the smell. Not many of them, and they look a day or so dead.
Sankar spotted a live Dog-faced water snake! Pasir Ris mangroves is home to a wide variety of snakes.
Many Tree climbing crabs were out and about.
Sankar spotted two live if sleepy Malayan water monitor lizards resting on the mangrove trees.
We saw lots and lots of live Giant mudskippers. They were wearing their pajamas (bands) instead of their usual daytime black stripe along the body. But we didn't see any live fishes under the jetty at Sungei Tampines during the incoming tide. Usually there are halfbeaks and archerfishes.
We also had a quick look at a short stretch of shoreline at Pasir Ris Carpark A. There were very few dead fishes washing up in the incoming tide. Most of the large ones were well rotted away.
We saw (and smelt) a bag which probably contains dead fishes.
There were still many (about 10) freshly dead toadfishes.
Our regular morning update by Youna Lyons from Pasir Ris suggests no new dead fishes. But some worms: "Not huge number of worms but still moving." Also some seagrass leaves. The Park is quiet, not many people.
Photo by Youna Lyons

Photo by Youna Lyons

Photo by Youna Lyons
What is happening at the fish farms?

Gerviana Tan started a crowdfunding effort for Noven Chew, a small fish farmer who suffered massive losses from the mass fish death: Help Raise Funds for Noven's Kelong. Donate to her fund here.
Donate here
It has been days and AVA has yet to provide details of the total impact to farms (e.g., total tonnage of fish lost) and what assistance will be provided to the farms.

Meanwhile, recent media reports shared more about expert findings of the causes of the mass deaths and how supermarkets are taking precautions to ensure safety of fish sold to the public.

What's next?

Even if dead fishes stop floating up in large numbers, the danger to the ecosystem may not be over.

We will continue to survey for other impacts over the next few day.

You CAN make a difference: Dead Fish Alert!

Please help me monitor dead fishes washing up on the Johor Straits. Please let me know if you see large numbers (more than 10) especially of large dead fishes (more than 20cm long) washing up on the northern shores such as Pulau Ubin, Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Buloh, Kranji, Sembawang, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi.

Thank you!

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