23 April 2019

Punggol beach still alive

There is still life on Punggol beach, although today, the water was bad and I sense the shore was even less lively than our last survey in Sep 2018.
Living rocky shore at Punggol
I noticed the new line of blue drums 'security barrier' on the shore. But the team has a good morning exploring. Among the highlights: uncommon seagrass, slugs and the Burgundy sea anemones are still there.

Here's some of highlights of our survey.
Living rocky shore at Punggol
There remains few clumps of sponges and ascidians. I didn't see any Zebra corals. There were a few clumps of Worm snails.
I saw 6 Burgundy anemones, about the same as our last survey. Punggol is the stronghold of the intriguing anemone, it is not found in large numbers elsewhere. There were many Lined bead anemones on the jetty legs, and lots of Banded bead anemones on the mid shore. We saw two tiny Haddon's carpet anemones.
We saw many Black sea urchins, and I saw a few small Plain sand stars. But I didn't see any Crown sea stars or sea cucumbers. There were many Spiral melongena snails and Drills, some laying eggs, and some onch slugs too. There were small crabs on the shore too.
There were many Rock oysters on the mid water line, many pried open. There were also some Green mussels.
Washed up were some shells of a small mussel. But I couldn't find large patches of these mussels growing on the shore.
There were still many small but lush patches of very healthy looking Hairy spoon seagrass, possibly more than what I saw on our last survey. These seagrasses are not commonly encountered on our shores.
There were some small clumps of Glassy branching bryozoans, animals that look like 'tunghoon' and often mistaken for seaweed.
Various seaweeds on Punggol shore
Lots of Straw tube worms in the sand!
Straw tubeworm (Family Chaetopteridae)
There is also another stretch of blue drums 'security barrier' on the western side of the shore.
Living rocky shore at Punggol
On the high shore, the trees seem to be seriously affected by erosion.
Erosion and trash at Punggol Beach
So it is alarming to see that large trash appear to have been purposely stacked on top of the tree roots!
In some places, the large trash is stacked against the wall. This is probably much better as the trees are not stressed.
Erosion and trash at Punggol Beach
I'm not sure why this large metal structure is tied to the tree.
Erosion and trash at Punggol Beach
I saw this fish trap on the shore, but it was already disabled. We didn't come across any abandoned nets. Although the team picked up a lot of fishing lures and rescued some animals with hooks and entangled in lines.
Abandoned large fish trap at Punggol
Today the water was bad. It was stinky, and left a sticky feeling on cameras and clothing that was submerged in the water. It is quite similar to the black water I saw in Jan 2016.
Black water at Punggol Jetty, 23 Apr 2019
The Punggol shore lies opposite massive industries at Pasir Gudang in Johor. Next to Punggol Jetty is Punggol Timor Island which has many heavy industries. Thanks to Jerome Lim's post on his blog, I learned that this must be Punggol Timor and Punggol Barat islands, which are reclaimed shores. These are now used to store mountains of sand and mountains of aggregates.
This Punggol shore seems to be getting less and less rich over the years. In Jun 2012, I even saw sea fans and a seahorse here. Sponges were more abundant and in greater variety, with many different kinds of nudibranchs. I do hope the shore will eventually recover its former glory.

Posts by others on this trip

Kelvin Yong

Shawne Goh

Vincent Choo

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