Sunday, June 27, 2010

Depressing Reef Survey Dive @ Pulau Hantu.....

BWV ReefFriends were out conducting a reef survey at a patched reef off Pulau Hantu today.

The visibility in today's water was about 1.5m. But nope, I was not depress because of the low visibility but the sight waiting for me at the deeper end transect. Even in such low vis, we had no problem spotting the hard corals because most of them were WHITE!

I would say about 60% of the hard corals that we came across at the 5m depth were bleaching or abit off colour! Along my 3 transect tapes of 70m, I counted at least 18 bleaching hard corals out of about 46 hard corals recorded. The water temperature was about 29 degree celsius.

Some of the soft corals were bleaching too!

Volunteers doing the Invertebrates survey also reported Anemones bleaching at the shallow end.

Fortunately, some corals are still doing well.....

Did not see many critters today either.....

A Fanworm!

One Featherstar/Crinoid along the transect tape.

A Phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidiella sp.).

Sigh.....just hope that the bleaching corals survive and recover.

Meanwhile, Ria and KS had also blogged about their pre-dawn intertidal trip to Pulau Hantu today.

The Hantu Bloggers also have their monthly dive at the same area today.....we shall wait for their report on other parts of the reef.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Predawn Trip To Cyrene Reef!.....

All our previous trips to our favourite submerged reef, Cyrene reef, were done during daylight. So we are glad that our skipper agreed to bring us there in the dark! And hopefully to see some marine creatures that are more active at night which we missed out during day trips!

So this morning, we made our first predawn trip to Cyrene reef! It was a bit tricky to find the landing spot at first. But all went well with our experienced skipper and we managed to land safely!

Cyrene reef lies in the middle of the "Industrial Triangle" . Surrounded by Pasir Panjang Container Terminal, Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom.

With all the light pollutions coming from the nearby industrial structures, it is difficult to see stars in the sky.....but that does not prevent us from seeing the stars in the sea! Sea Stars that is :p

Cyrene reef is one of the few reefs in Singapore where you can see a large population of Knobbly Sea Stars! These sea stars are listed as 'Endangered' on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. So it is delightful to see both adults and juveniles! And the seagrass meadow of Cyrene reef provide a good nursery ground for these Sea Stars!

Also came across this strange looking Sea Star! Looks like hybrid between the Knobbly Sea Star and the Pentaceraster Sea Star.

Saw a few Sandfish Sea Cucumbers.

Only sighted one Synaptid Sea Cucumber today.

And only one White Sea Urchin too!

Fish that I have no idea of its ID. :p

Pretty Flatworms were seen among the seagrass! First time seeing the orange one in Cyrene for me! Have only seen it at Pulau Sekudu before.

Colourful Peacock Anemones!

Sighted a bleaching Snaky Sea Anemone. While KS saw a bluish one.

There was a Anemone Shrimp on it!

Coral bleaching still on going on Cyrene.

And some soft corals are dying.

Two of the most poisonous crabs in Singapore! The Red Egg Crab (Top) and the Mosaic Reef Crab (bottom). Cooking does not destroy the toxins they contained!

An Octopus was busy hunting around.

A small snail found among the seagrass. No idea of its ID. Anyone would like to shed some lights?

Geraldine found this large Spotted foot nudibranch (Discodoris lilacina) among the seagrass. It may sometimes confused with a similar looking nudibranch, Sebadoris nubilosa with its topside. However, the underside of the S.nubilosa mantle is translucent white with a distinct submarginal dark-brown band and between the band and the body are scattered large brown spots. While in D.lilacina, no submarginal dark-brown band on its underside.

A Polka-dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris).

Lastly a Starry mouthed/Voodoo doll nudibranch (Bornella stellifer).

If you like to find out more about Cyrene Reef, visit the "Cyrene Reef Exposed" blog!

And if you are in Facebook, join the "Cyrene Reef Exposed" Facebook group!

Aftemath Of The Oil Spill - Tanah Merah (3).....

Yesterday, went back to check out the part of Tanah Merah shore that we have checked out the day after the oil spill one month ago.

The air still filled with a slight pungent smell as we still see some part of the upper shore covered with stains of crude oil.

And the water surface still have a layer of oil sheen and brown stuff.

We also noticed these brown scum like thingy on top of the sand. The sand is "slippery" and soft when we stepped on. The sand before the spill is more firmed and sandy. Hmmm....could this be the work of microbes breaking down the crude???

So how's the marine life doing one month after the spill? Hmmm.....I would say that the shore is much livelier than the day after the spill but still not what is used to be before the spill. least I did not come across a large number of peanut worms again.

Lots of lively Ghost Crabs! A few babies are spotted too!

No crazy somersaulting Flower crabs this time.....but alert ones that gave a defensive pose when one approached them!

Hermit Crabs seem to be doing okay!

Happy to see a few live prawns too!

Saw one Carpet Anemone that is in its normal colour.

Delighted to see a small healthy-looking Acropora coral in one of the tide pool!

Saw a Fanworm.....but the feeding tentacles were not fully open.

The patch of Common Sea Stars seem to be doing well still. But most of them are seen at the lower shore nearer to the seawall and some at the middle shore.

More livelier Gong Gong were seen this time round.

A few Moon Snail were seen. Most of them moving about under the sand but strangely, I came across a few which were turned upside down.

A Spiral Melongena Snail laying its egg cases with a layer of the brown stuff stuck on.