Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nets in the mangroves at Semakau (14 Aug 2011)

A small team headed to remove driftnets at the mangroves of Pulau Semakau this morning.
Andy is hard at work on the mangroves growing on the seawall. You can see the huge ropes that have gotten entangled in the mangrove trees here.

There are an astonishing number of driftnets wound around trees in the mangroves. A few of us checked out the deep mangroves and even in narrow streams winding through thick growths of trees, we found nets!
Two large mud crabs were found in this fish trap deep in the mangroves. We removed the fish trap and released the crabs, which were unharmed.
Another half of the team worked another part of the mangroves. They released one horseshoe crab.
Photo by Russel Low
It seems by the time we got to these nets, most of them had already weakened and were falling apart and so didn't trap many animals. But when they were freshly laid, they must have killed indiscriminately. This part of the mangroves is also where Subaraj saw the otter when we were here a few days ago.

Here's some photos of the team at work shared by Russel.
Driftnets tied to mangrove roots were removed.
Photo by Russel Low.
The team at work gathering lots of abandoned driftnets.
Photo by Russel Low
After much work in the soft mud, the team hauled out all the nets up the seawall.
Those IKEA bags sure are handy for the job.
The team was so busy removing the nets, we didn't measure the lengths. But the total volume of the nets is 1m x 1m x 20cm. There were a wide range of nets. Most were monofilament with some made of thick ropes. The monofilament nets had a mesh size of 5cm to 10cm.
Here's a closer look at the mess.
Thanks to Jinny and friends at NEA for permission to visit to get this job done, and for the ride back after the removal by the friendly folks at the Landfill. It was very much appreciated!

Special thanks to Andy, Russel, Jerome, Rene, Nicole, Alicia, Marcus, James and Kok Sheng for removing the nets!

We arrived before sunrise so as to do a quick check on the health of the rest of the shores. More on the wild shores of singapore blog.

Posts by others about this trip
  • Russel shares more photos of this trip and background about abandoned driftnets.
  • Rene shares more photos of the net removal.

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