Saturday, January 28, 2017

600m fishing net seen on Pulau Semakau (South), 28 Jan 2017

An approximately 600m-long fishing net was seen on Pulau Semakau (South) close to the Barammundi Asia fish farm there.
600m long fishing net laid at Pulau Semakau (South) Jan 2017
Here's more of what we saw.

Update: Eva Lim who works at Barramundi Asia almost immediately replied on the social media post about the net: "what you posted was indeed heartbreaking. We will like to work with your team to remove these nets, and perhaps help to monitor the area together to prevent fishermen from casting nets in this area." She will be looking to activate the farm team to remove the net, and keep an eye out to prevent such nets from being laid in the future. Hurray!

One end of the fishing net was tied to the seawall.
600m long fishing net laid at Pulau Semakau (South) Jan 2017
The other end extended well beyond the natural mangrove area.
600m long fishing net laid at Pulau Semakau (South) Jan 2017
Here's my estimated location and length of the net.
Pulau Semakau is NOT the same as the Semakau Landfill. The Landfill was created by destroying all of Pulau Saking, and about half of the original Pulau Semakau by building a very long seawall. Fortunately, the landfill was constructed and is managed in such a way that the original mangroves, seagrass meadows and reefs on Pulau Semakau were allowed to remain. The southern Semakau shore that we surveyed today has replanted mangroves next to the seawall, and on the other side of a small stream, the natural mangroves of Pulau Semakau.

Here are some of the fishes trapped in the net.
The net also trapped some cuttlefishes and crabs, snagged on corals and some small horseshoe crabs (I carefully released two).
More photos of the net and what it trapped.

More photos shared by Jialin Liu on facebook.

More photos shared by Heng Pei Yan on facebook. And also on her blog.

More photos shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.

More photos by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook and on his blog.

The fishing net looked very recently laid. The fishes trapped were still alive. We did not have enough people to remove such a long fishing net. And if we damage the the net to release the fishes, it would be abandoned by the owners. It was heartbreaking, but we decided to leave the net on the shore after documenting the animals trapped in it. We can only hope the people who laid it will remove the net soon.

More about the rest of our survey in the wild shores of singapore blog.

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