Monday, April 11, 2011

Pulau Semakau (9 Apr 2011)

A total of about 200m of abandoned driftnets and several traps were found at Pulau Semakau by a small team of nine volunteers.
The nine of us decided to split up into three teams so that we could thoroughly check three separate areas of Pulau Semakau for abandoned nets and traps.

These are the three areas we checked. The middle portion was already checked on our earlier trip to Pulau Semakau the week before.
Brandon, Travis and I are doing the North-west section nearest Pulau Hantu. Thankfully, we didn't find any abandoned nets in the reefs. So we headed out for the one wrapped around a mangrove tree on the high shore.
It is a very old net. I had first noticed this net in late 2008. Ivan and Charmaine removed some of it in 2009. Today, we finally get a chance to remove all of it.
The net doesn't look very much at first.
But as we disentangle it, the net got bigger and bigger! We could hardly squash into the three big bags we had. We estimate it was about 30m long. It's good to remove the net as it interferes with the growth of the mangrove tree. Fortunately, we didn't find any large animals trapped in this net.
Mei Lin, Andy and Rene did the North-eastern shore and found abandoned fish traps.
Photos by Rene Ong.
They also found three nets draped around mangrove trees, each net about 50m long.
Photo by Rene Ong.
These had already trapped horseshoe crabs which were already dead by the time the team saw them.
Photos by Rene Ong.
Marcus, Nicole and Jocelyne did the Southern shore and found about 20m of abandoned net around the mangrove trees.
Photo by Marcus Ng.
And more nets abandoned on the shore.
Photo by Marcus Ng.
The tide wasn't low enough for long enough for all the nets to be removed. And we didn't get a chance to check the reefs on the North-east and Southern shores. We should probably come back at regular intervals to check for and remove nets at Pulau Semakau.

Thanks to the volunteers for coming out this Saturday morning: Andy, Mei Lin, Jocelyne, Brandon, Travis, Rene, Marcus and Nicole. And also thanks to NEA for permission to do the job and the kind staff who as usual provided much appreciated transport for us and the nets back to the jetty.

We also saw lots of other marine life on this rich and living shore. Posts by others on this trip

  • Ria with a check on coral bleaching and rare plants, and sighting of frogfish, seahorse and other fishes.
  • Jocelyne with another seahorse seen on the Southern shore.
  • Rene with strange flatworm, jellyfishes and snakes.
  • Marcus with mangrove views

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