Just as Changi Airport and Changi Beach are not the same even though they are near one another and share a name, Pulau Semakau is NOT the same as the Semakau Landfill. The Landfill was created by destroying all of Pulau Saking, and about half of the original Pulau Semakau by building a very long seawall. Fortunately, the landfill was constructed and is managed in such a way that the original mangroves, seagrass meadows and reefs on Pulau Semakau were allowed to remain.
Spoon seagrass (small leaf blades) and Needle seagrass (narrow as well as broad leaf blades).
Tape seagrass is bare sand.
Leathery soft corals: not bleaching. A large patch of Sea mat zoanthids had small pale portions. I saw many Giant carpet anemones and Frilly anemones, none were bleaching. Horse mussel clams have spread out to a larger area. In Jan 2020 and Mar 2019, I saw them in small groups of less than 10, spread apart. Today, there were a lot more and closer together. Covering an area of about 20m2.
Fire anemones on the shore. Some other interesting encounters include several Eggwhite moon snails. A cluster of three Gymnodorisnudibranchs that usually eat other nudibranchs including one another. I also saw many large Cake sand dollars, and two small Orange spotted hermit crabs. The rest of the team also saw other interesting animals.Mar 2019, we came across the bones of a dead sea turtle in an abandoned net.
But Vincent Choo came across this dead shark on the shore. It was not trapped in a net. We are not sure what happened.
The large barge used by the fish farm seems in better order today than on our last trip in Jan 2020, when there were stinking piles of netting there.
briefing given to the marine community by Shell in 20212 when they replaced part of the undersea pipeline (red).
More about Pulau Semakau
It is NOT true that the construction of the Landfill created the marine life found on Pulau Semakau. The marine life was there long before the Landfill was built.
Phase 2 of the Landfill was launched. This involved closing the gap of the seawall on the Semakau Landfill, forming one big pool where incinerated ash will be dumped. NEA worked to limit the damage to natural shores during the construction work for this expansion of the landfill.
The 2030 Landuse Plan by the Ministry of National Development released in Jan 2013 shows plans for 'possible future reclamation' (in light blue surrounded by dotted lines) that may impact the eastern shore of Pulau Semakau. More about the possible impact of the 2030 Landuse Plan on our shores.
The Singapore Blue Plan 2018
Pulau Semakau and nearby islands and submerged reefs have been recommended by the Singapore Blue Plan 2018 for Immediate Conservation Priority.
The Blue Plan recommends the intertidal and subtidal marine areas of Pulau Semakau and adjacent Pulau Hantu, and Pulau Jong to be designated Marine Reserve.
The Blue Plan highlights that Pulau Semakau and its associated patch reefs comprise many ecosystems: coral reefs, mangrove areas, intertidal sandflats, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs. The subtidal area of Pulau Jong is larger than the terrestrial area. Pulau Hantu is a popular dive site has seen increasing interest in the past decade due to biodiversity awareness. If protection is accorded to these three islands, zonation plans for use can be implemented to manage tourism and human impacts.
DOWNLOAD the Plan, SUPPORT the Plan! More on the Singapore Blue Plan 2018 site.
Photos by others on this trip
Loh Kok Sheng