As usual, the rest of the team saw all the special animals. Liz spotted a Cushion sea star! Also octopus, while Richard saw squid, red feather star, Diadema sea urchins. I saw a Spangled flatworm. They also saw a Magnificent anemone, while there remains many Giant carpet anemones - I saw signs of anemonefish but didn't get any photos. Richard also saw many Ribbon jellyfish - they seem to be in season, we have been seeing them on all our recent surveys. Unfortunately, none of us saw any Giant clams.
|Montage of photos by Liz Lim and Richard Kuah.|
The shore is dotted with corals big and small. Sadly, the large field of Branching montipora near the landing point is completely dead. The last time I saw it in May 2021, it was alive and well. But Richard saw a field of Acropora corals further north.asparagus flowery soft corals that were oddly coloured - pastels instead of uniform purplish.Spoon seagrass with small leaves, heavily covered with epiphytes, and some with large leaves which were cleaner. There were also many clumps of Sickle seagrass. There were some longish Tape seagrasses, but many of these had large bleaching portions. The situation looks slightly worse than what I saw in May 2022 and May 2021.
What is the fate of Terumbu Pempang Tengah?
Pulau Hantu and all the terumbus west of it are slated for massive reclamation outlined recently in the Long-Term Plan Review. Singapore's submerged reefs are often out of sight under the high tide and thus forgotten. Let's hope these terumbu stay safe until we can visit again.
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