There is a small area here that was densely covered with hard corals. Today, I didn't see as many live corals as on our last survey in May 2021. I sense many of the large corals at the reef edge were dead and covered with algae. I'm not really sure what happened.
leathery soft corals of various kinds. And many large colonies of Asparagus flowery soft coral. Those I saw were all alright.
Fluted giant clams. One near the reef edge, probably the same one Russel shared from our survey on May 2021. I also saw the empty shell of a much larger one nearby.I saw another live one on the shore facing Sudong. Both clams were about 40cm long. Kelvin went to find the ones he saw on a previous survey and could only find the empty shells of one of them.
A shark suddenly appeared among us as we carefully explored the reefy edge. Yong Jen took this great shot of it before it swam away.
Juria filmed this 'Nat Geo moment' of a Common hairy crab dragging a seahare into its burrow. The seahare was inking throughout. We are not sure how the crab can eat something so many times larger than itself!
We came across many nudibranchs today gathered close to one another. I saw many Jorunna nudibranchs and one pair that were lined up and appeared to be exchanging sperm. Nudibranch are hemaphrodites and each animal has both male and female parts. I also saw a Halloween flatworm, and a small Fire anemone.
Keeled heart urchin, two Kumquat sea cucumbers and one Big synaptid sea cucumber.
May 2021. I saw several clumps of Tape seagrass with longish leaves, some very curly. I didn't see any that were cropped short. There were also sprinkles Spoon seagrasses, and some Sickle seagrasses.
Singapore's submerged reefs are often out of sight under the high tide and thus forgotten. Let's hope Terumbu Bemban stays safe until we can visit again.
Future of Terumbu Bemban
Although not directly slated for reclamation, large areas nearby are among the existing natural shores that may be impacted by the landuse plan by the Ministry of National Development released in Jan 2013 in response to the Population White Paper with a 6.9 million population target. The dotted margined blue areas are "Possible Future Reclamation".
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.
DOWNLOAD the Plan, SUPPORT the Plan! More on the Singapore Blue Plan 2018 site.
Photos by others on this survey
Tang Yong Jen
Che Cheng Neo
On the same day, Jianlin Liu surveyed Changi