Once again, for Lunar New Year, we pay our respects to Big Sister's Island, part of Singapore's first Marine Park. Thanks to NParks for permission to survey after sunset.
Here's a glimpse of what I saw, on this pretty little island just half an hour from the Central Business District on mainland Singapore, and near major shipping lanes.
Jan 2018 and Feb 2019 too.
Feb 2019. Today, I saw many large Pore boulder corals, large Merulinid corals, medium-sized Sandpaper corals - most were alright. I also saw a good variety of other corals, but not many individuals: Ridged plate corals, Brain coral, Anemone corals, Disk corals, Carnation coral. Cauliflower coral. The rest of the team saw Circular mushroom coral. Most were alright.
Pebble corals that were brightly coloured.
leathery soft corals. All seemed alright.
Frilly sea anemones, and many Giant carpet anemones, none were bleaching, although some Giant carpet anemones had small sections of white tentacles.
The rest of the team saw lots of colourful marine life. Here's a snapshot of those seen by Jianlin Liu. There was even a small shark in the Big lagoon!
Tape seagrass in the small lagoon is still badly cropped. There was a small Haddon's carpet anemone in the middle of the patch. I didn't come across any Spoon seagrass.
Bryopsis seaweed in many areas inside the lagoon in the low water mark outside the seawalls. Sargassum seaweed remains in mild bloom on the outer reef edge, normal for this time of the year.
More about Big Sisters Island
This island is now part of the Sisters Islands Marine Park. Like many parks in Singapore, you can visit Big Sisters Island any day from 7am to 7pm. You don't need a guide or a permit to visit during these times.
Marina South Ferries now offer travel to the Sisters Islands on weekends. Besides the ferry, you can also hire a water taxi to take you there from Marina South Pier. There are about 10 commercial water taxi companies located there. You can call to book a taxi or just go to the Pier and get a taxi. Most leisure visitors go with Island Cruise, which caters to tourists.
More about the Sisters Islands Marine Park on the NParks website and on the Sisters Islands Marine Park blog and facebook group.
Photos by others on this trip
Loh Kok Sheng
Rene Ong via Naturely Curious
Frances Loke via Little Green Men
Keet Yeng Cheong