29 January 2017

Return to Terumbu Selegie

We return for the first time in 6 years to this tiny submerged reef.
Landing at Terumbu Selegi
This mostly rocky shore did not have many corals, but those we saw were not bleaching. Alas, we saw and had to leave behind an abandoned fish net.

Terumbu Selegie is a tiny submerged reef that lies just off Sentosa, Pulau Tekukor and near the Sisters Islands and St. John's Island. According to Infopedia by the National Library of Singapore, "the word "selegie" is believed to be a Malay word that refers to a wooden spear sharpened and hardened by fire. There is also a Bugis pirate race known as Orang Selegie." Our last visit here was in Jun 2011.
Terumbu Selegie is a rocky shore with a tall pile of sand in the middle that sticks out even at mid-tide!
Living reefs of Terumbu Selegie
Here's a video of the shore. The water is very clear here and there are strong waves washing over the shore.
Living shores of Terumbu Selegie
There are not many corals on this small reef.
Living reefs of Terumbu Selegie
Mostly Pore corals (I saw about 10 colonies) and one Merulinid (formerly Favid) coral. I only saw two small leathery soft corals. On our last survey here in Jun 2011, I saw more individuals and a wider variety of hard corals.
The most abundant anemones were Giant carpet anemones (but no anemonefishes seen) and Frilly sea anemones.
Living reefs of Terumbu Selegie
Other cnidarians include zoanthids and white-tip corallimorphs. There was also some Broad feathery soft corals.
There were some ascidians and a sprinkling of sponges.
The Sargassum bloom is dwindling and there was a bloom of Hairy green seaweed. There was also a lot of Cotton candy floss red seaweed. As well as some other seaweeds. Some of the Encrusting coralline red seaweed was white.
The most abundant animal of this shore is most definitely the Long black sea cucumber! Similar to our last survey here 6 years ago.
I saw a baby Giant top shell snail, and a few empty Cone snail shells. The most common snail was Dwarf turban snails.
The best find for me was by James who spotted this tiny Red-stripped flatworm. James also spotted many Marine spiders.
Alas, as we were leaving, Russel pointed out the pile of abandoned net on the shore. It was about 2m by 1m by 50cm. Unfortunately, it was firmly embedded among rubble and rock. Fortunately, we could not find any animals trapped in it. Since it would take more time and manpower than we had to remove it, we sadly had to leave the bundle on the shore.
Abandoned fish net at Terumbu Selegie
There were also piles of rubble and deep holes on the edges of the Terumbu Selegie suggesting boat strikes on this reef.
Living reefs of Terumbu Selegie
On the way to Terumbu Selegie, we noticed there has been a landslide on Pulau Tekukor.
Landslide on Pulau Tekukor
On the way back, we had a challenging time getting into the dinghy because of high waves from the surrounding shipping traffic. Thankfully, we got back safely, in the good hands of Alex and his team.
Landing at Terumbu Selegi
It will a while before we are back on this shore. Let's hope it stays safe until then.

Photos shared by others on this trip

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