Thursday, May 27, 2010

Aftemath Of The Oil Spill - Tanah Merah.....

As news of oil slicks had hit Singapore's eastern shoreline after the oil spill from Tuesday morning's collision between a tanker and bulk carrier, we make a trip down to a part of Tanah Merah's shore to check out the impact of the pollution on our marine creatures this morning on a low-tide trip.

This reclaimed shore of Tanah Merah has given us lots of surprises during our previous trips here. Although it's man-made and reclaimed, marine creatures are slowly recovering and make this shore their homes.

It is unfortunately that the shore is affected by the oil spill. :o(

As we reached the shore, the pungent gas fumes fill the air! Making it a bit hard to breathe. I came prepared with a mask and tied a piece of towel around. It was much better but still a fade amount of the fumes can be smelled!

On the high shores, we see signs of the oil stains on the sand.

as well as on the rocks.

and in the water, there was a thin layer of oil sheen and these scummy looking layer.

The first sign of death was these Porcelain Crabs that we found near the rocks. These crabs are usually found hiding underneath rocks.

Moving on, we came across lots of dead Flower Crabs and Ria found one that kept doing somersaults!

It is a slow and maybe painful death for this poor crab.....:o(

Lots of dead Moon Crabs too!

The Ghost Crabs, though still alive, had a layer of the oil slick on them!

Another creature that died in great numbers are these Prawns! I hardly came across any live ones!

But what really breaks my heart is this Anemone Shrimp!

It was found nowhere near an Anemone! I can't describe the feeling but I just felt so hopeless when it was liked desperately moving around looking for its host!

Snapping Shrimps are not spared too.

I have never come across so many Peanut Worms in one intertidal trip! The contaminated sand must be so unbearable that they all came out onto the surface! I lost count after seeing 5!

Other worms that were forced out of their sand burrow are these;

And it is tragic with such tragedy to have my first sighting of a Fan Worm body segments. Usually all I see were the feather-like feeding tentacles.

The Molluscs are also not doing well.....

Gong Gongs have their shells covered with oil slick and were dying!

The Moon Snails fared slight better.

The Bivalves like Clams and Cockles are either dead or breathing their last few breaths!

There were a few Leaf Slugs (Elysia Ornata)that have a layer of oil sheen on them.

Found a DEAD Octopus!

Just like refugees gathered in stadiums/schools after a natural disaster, various fishes were seen gathering in tidal pools where the water looks "clear and clean". Most of them were found on mid shore, away from the seawall where we used to see them.

Of course, these are the unfortunate ones that did not make it!

Sigh.....taking fish photos has never been this easy.....Sigh. :o(

Only sighted one Sandfish Sea Cucumber.

Most Synaptid Sea Cucumbers were found curled up like this.

Ria found some Heart Urchins! First time seeing it at this shore for me. Usually they are buried. Guess it could be the contaminated sand that made them come up to the surface.

Poor Common Sea Stars! They are being covered with the oil slicks when they emerged from the sand!

Also noticed some small globules thingy in the water. Could this be the breakdown of the oil by the dispersants? is just heartbreaking seeing so many dead marine creatures! Hopefully the oil spill can be cleared soon and that the shores can recover once again!

More photos here.