Woke up bright and early this morning to go Pulau Semakau for Project Driftnet. Project Driftnet aims to document location and types of nets/traps found on our shores as well as the organisms trapped within. They will subsequently be removed if determined to be of high impact on the shore and hopefully the data will aid in further understanding their impact on our shores.
When we arrived on Semakau, the sun was just rising over the horizon.
Was too early for the buses to be operating so we walked over to the site.
We split up into 3 groups to cover 3 different areas of Semakau. I was with Marcus and Nicole and we went over to the South side where there were lots of lovely mangroves and a nice little stream/creek.
So we were just standing by the side of the stream and admiring the seagrasses growing there, like the Halodule uninervis, Ribbon seagrass Cymodocea serrulata (not too sure) and Tape seagrass Enhalus acoroides…
Seahorse!! So proud of myself that I spotted it (first time spotting a seahorse, though then again only my second time seeing one on Singapore’s shores) even though it’s like kinda obvious. Not even mildly camouflaged heh.
Sorry it’s not an awesome shot, I didn’t turn on macro function on my cam -.- so yeah all my close ups turned out blur but wells! It made my day(: worth the sleep deprivation, cab fare and morning walk.
But anyways, main point of the trip was not to look for seahorses, but for driftnets. Nicole went upstream and saw one net that was encircling a Rhizophora apiculata tree.
It’s not very obvious, the net was quite old and tore very easily. Didn’t appear to be trapping any organisms or causing any harm, so Marcus decided to just leave it there.
After taking the necessary data, we walked downstream towards the sea. Could really see the change in fauna, lots more sponges, algae, seagrass and anemones as we walked downstream.
There were lots of carpet anemones! But my camera battery soon died, so no more photos.
As we walked along the sea wall, we found another abandoned driftnet. Bundled up lying in a corner and encrusted with molluscs and various other organisms, and was very brittle, so after taking data, we also left it there.
There was also a couple of floatation drums lying on the sandy shore, tied to a thick rope that was anchored. Supposedly laid out by the fish farms nearby, but they took out the nets and left the rest of it there. Couldn’t really do much harm I guess, there weren’t any nets, so we left it there too, after Marcus took some photos.
Spent the rest of the time walking around looking for knobblies. But didn’t manage to find any. Saw a pretty big Pistol shrimp, least I think it’s that cos one claw was larger than the other. But my camera battery died so I couldn’t take a photo 😦
Walking back to the exit point, Marcus mentioned that there were Rock stars on the lower shore rocks. So I tried really hard to find one. But again failed. So no rock stars for today.
Also saw quite a number of birds, but I’m not good with birds so I’m not gonna try listing all that we saw/heard. I just know the Collared kingfisher.
After that, while walking back to the visitor centre area, we got picked up by Andy and someone else I don’t remember his name >< who were on their way to check out some mangrove areas that also had driftnets. There were nets encircling mangrove trees just like the one we found, on quite a number of trees Don’t get why these people have to do this. Sighs.
Anyway so we went back, washed up and waited for Ria’s team to be back and to take the boat back to mainland Singapore.
Best thing was on the ride back, the boat driver somehow decided to drive across Terumbu Bukom. It was low tide, so well. There was a lot of noise, and we got stuck. The guy got all of us to stand at the bow of the boat to try and tilt it back into deeper waters, and after that the boat went really slowly.
Thus ended my first trip with Project Driftnet(: