26 May 2017

Reefy Changi still alive

There is a sea fan garden at Changi that is only exposed at the very lowest tides. Which tend to happen at ungodly hours. The reefiest parts of the shore were furthest away from human reach. Read more about how coastal boardwalks can do more harm than good.
Reefy Changi
This shore was probably affected by the by the 300-tonne oil spill in the East Johor Strait in January. This is my first time at this shore since the oil spill.

There are still stunningly beautiful sea fans and sponges here. Which reminds me of Beting Bronok, a dying reef off Pulau Tekong.
Various marine life at reefy Changi
The sea fans were mostly Candelabra sea fans and Gnarled sea fans. I saw a few Skinny sea fans and some Yellow sea fans. But there were fewer sea fans compared to my last survey here in Aug 2016.
There were still many small sea fans all along the shore. Compared to my last survey here in Aug 2016, there are much fewer sponges today. In particular, there were few Purple branching sponges which usually dominate this shore.
The most abundant sponge is Melted Chocolate sponge which covers the rocks at the low water mark.
Various marine life at reefy Changi
Other sponges were less abundant. Although I still saw several different kinds, most only one  or a few clumps.
There were many patches of healthy looking brown Zebra coral, and some green Neat hexa corals. I only saw one small rather sickly looking Pink flowery soft coral.
Changi is a great place to spot weird nudibranchs. Not all of them are pretty. I saw this small Fugly nudibranch. Which truly, only a mother could love.
Fugly nudibranch (Actinocyclus sp.)
There were many Crown sea stars on the rocks, but I didn't see any other kinds of sea stars. There were a few brittle stars. The field of Button zoanthids has been reduced but  is still there. I saw one Cowrie snail, a few small clumps of Yellow clustered bead ascidians and one Blue-dotted flatworm.
So nice to see a Slender seagrass octopus. I haven't seen one for a long time.
Slender seagrass octopus
My first time seeing the Head-stripe goby on Changi. I usually see these on our Southern reefs.
Head-stripe goby (Amblygobius stethophthalmus)
I saw two cerianthids. One of them had lots of Phoronid worms, animals which live together with cerianthids.
The soft silty ground is happy home for many sea pens of all kinds. I saw many Flowery sea pens, some Sea pencils, a few Slender sea pens and two Spiky sea pens. Many more kinds and numbers of sea pens than on my last survey here in Aug 2016.
I saw some scarily large clumps of Stinging hydroids. One had a cluster of squid eggs attached to it.
There were a lot of Swimming crabs of various kinds on the shore. As well as many Stone crabs. On higher ground,  lots of  Purple climber crabs.
I saw an enormous Garlic bread sea cucumber. There were also many buried Ball sea cucumbers. I saw a few Orange sea cucumbers. Where the Melted Chocolate sponge was submerged, there were tangles  of small Sponge synaptid sea cucumbers.
On the pilings and walls, there was a layer of Little black mussels. Among them, tiny young Green mussels. Lined bead anemones were abundant. On the lower areas, there were many Banded bead anemones. I didn't see any other kinds of anemones.
I saw a few patches of sparse Hairy spoon seagrass. I've been seeing this here since Jun 2012.
Hairy spoon seagrass (Halophila decipiens)
There are still Spoon seagrasses at the mouth of the stream near Loyang. But rather sparse.
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis)
Mangrove trees are starting to settle on the artificial seawall in one part of the shore. There was a large Perepat, unfortunately bald at the top part. Also many Api-api putih saplings.
This shore is heavily impacted by fishing pressure. And we signs of this on every trip. This morning, I saw a very long fish trap, several smaller fish traps and many abandoned lines and nets.

Ian Siah surveyed Changi Loyang on 30 Apr and it looked fine.

Loh Kok Sheng also surveyed Changi Loyang on 30 Apr. See also his blog post on the trip.

Today, Chay Hoon surveyed another part of Changi too

Posts about the Jan 2017 Johor Strait oil spill
Survey on 10 Feb, one month after the oil spill
Other surveys and news posts

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