Happy New Year everyone!

2014 was a year full of incidents of mass fish deaths, many of them involving offshore fish farms in the Straits of Johor. While these fishkill episodes generate a lot of content for Monday Morgue, it’s also worrying. Are environmental conditions in our waters able to support so many fish farms and such high densities of fishes? Are there measures in place to prevent all these dead fishes from floating out to sea and causing further pollution of surrounding areas? What are the effects on wild populations of fishes and other marine life, since many of them also end up as casualties along with the farmed fishes? Are the fish farms able to sustain their businesses in the face of such heavy losses, which seem to be taking place with alarming frequency? Hopefully these and more issues with aquaculture in Singapore can be resolved in the years to come.

This collage shows 4 species of fishes which are raised in floating cages in the Straits of Johor, with huge numbers dying during several mass mortality events in 2014.

Upper Left: Milkfish (Chanos chanos) @ Sungei Buloh
Upper Right: Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus) @ Sungei Buloh
Lower Left: Snapper (Lutjanus sp.) @ Changi
Lower Right: Grouper (Epinephelus sp.) @ Changi

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