12 April 2024

Will Terumbu Bemban be affected by Pulau Sudong reclamation?

A small team survey one of our favourite sites, this submerged reef flat that is the closest to the Live Firing Area. It is likely to be affected by the reclamation at Pulau Sudong scheduled for end of this year.
Living shores of Terumbu Bemban, Apr 2024
We had to wait a while for the sun to rise and the tide to fall before checking out the western shore facing Pulau Sudong. We find a Giant clam, and check out the corals and seagrasses growing well here.

Kelvin spotted a Fluted giant clam! As well as interesting hard corals such as mushroom corals. And colourful interesting reef life.
The reef flat is dotted with medium to large boulder shaped corals and small colonies of interesting corals such as Acropora corals, Lettuce corals, Brain corals. There were also many common corals like Anemone coral and Cauliflower corals. Similar to our last survey in Aug 2023, I saw a few small clusters of Branching montipora corals. These corals sometimes form large 'fields' on other submerged reefs. A few colonies had pale edges or were pink (a sign of stress), but most were nice and brown and I didn't see any mass coral bleaching.
I also saw many small to medium sized colonies of leathery soft corals of various kinds. And some Asparagus flowery soft coral. Those I saw seemed alright. Because we were focusing on the western shore, we couldn't survey our favourite middle reefy edge before the tide came in.
Today, the seagrass situation seems more similar to our survey in Apr 2022, a slight improvement to our survey in Aug 2023. There were sprinkles Spoon seagrasses along the length of the shore facing Pulau Sudong, at the mid-water mark just after the coral rubble area. I saw many clumps of Tape seagrass with longish leaves (about 20-30cm), many curling. 
Here's a video of some of the corals, seagrasses and marine life I saw.
Living shores of Terumbu Bemban, Apr 2024

Future of Terumbu Bemban

The shores closest to the planned 31ha reclamation at Eastern tip of Pulau Sudong are Terumbu Bemban and Beting Bemban Besar.
Large areas nearby are also slated for massive reclamation outlined recently in the Long-Term Plan Review.

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.
Living shores of Terumbu Bemban, Apr 2024
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 survey

Kelvin Yong

Liz Lim

Che Cheng Neo

Tammy Lim


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