01 September 2023

Splendid Kusu Island

There is a rich reef edge on Kusu Island facing the Central Business District! It only takes a few minutes by fast boat to reach. 
A collage of photos shared by the team.
Links to their albums below.
Here, the survey team saw delicate Plate montipora coralsAcropora coralsBoulder horn coral as well as many other commonly seen corals.

Glad the 'Nemos' (Clown anemonefishes) are seen again here! The team also saw many small Arabian cowries - like they did the day before at nearby St John's Island. As well as seldom sighted flatworms, fishes and crabs.
Marcus also photographed the elusive Saron shrimp, surrounded by what seems to be newly released shrimp babies? (The little blue dots are their eyes).
Branching corals are often homes to small animals that are not found anywhere else. The team found and managed to take great photos of the well-hidden Acropora goby - usually found in a pair in one coral colony. The Red coral crab and Bandit coral crab. As well as the Machine gun shrimp - Unlike the snapping shrimp which only has one 'snapping' pincer, the Machine gun shrimp has two such pincers, hence its common name. Tiny colourful brittle stars sometimes also infest soft corals.
The Magnificent anemones remain plentiful at the mouth of the southern lagoon. As usual, the team saw three different body column colours: white, red and purple. There also seemed to be a lot of Fire anemones!
Inside the southern lagoon, there remains good coverage of corals of various kinds. Including a large colony of Anemone corals. No photos of the field of Branching montipora corals inside the lagoon though.
Photos by Loh Kok Sheng
The team also checked out the rich reefy area at the jetty. There were large Barrel sponges, good coral variety. Also a patch of Tape seagrass with long leaves. Alas, the Giant clam there seems to have died, only its shells remain. No documentation of coral bleaching on this survey.
In the sandy southern lagoon, it seems there remains sprinkles of Spoon seagrass (tiny leaves) and Needle seagrass (narrow leaves). The team saw Cake sand dollars and Oval moon snails, and Horn-eyed ghost crabs. But no Common sea stars. Thanks to the team for conducting the survey while I'm getting over the tummy bug.

Kusu Island in the Singapore Blue Plan

The cluster of Kusu, Lazarus and St. John's Islands has been recommended by the Singapore Blue Plan 2018 for elevated protection status.
Photo by Che Cheng Neo
The Blue Plan highlights that Lazarus, St. John’s, and Kusu Islands are established sites for coral nurseries as their shoreline offers ideal sheltered areas for growth of corals. Designating these islands as No-fishing Areas can bolster their rehabilitation. Protecting a larger cluster of islands means 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 those on the survey

Kelvin Yong

Che Cheng Neo

Loh Kok Sheng

Tommy Arden

Richard Kuah

Tammy Lim

Marcus Ng

Chay Hoon


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