Mass fish deaths raise concerns about safety
Hundreds of dead fish wash up on the shores of Pasir Ris Beach in Singapore. Although authorities say fish harvested from local farms are safe for consumption, some members of the public are wary.
By Pichayada Promchertchoo, 2nd March 2015;

On Monday (Mar 2), Singaporeans woke up to find the palm-fringed beach of Pasir Ris covered with hundreds of dead fish.

Frequented by families, the long sandy stretch that separates a 70-hectare park in eastern Singapore from the sea was nearly deserted, as many visitors had been driven off by the foul stench of countless rotten marine wildlife, washed ashore the previous night.

“It’s really not nice. We have a baby and we want the baby to walk on the beach. But today, we can’t do that. It’s very dirty and smells terrible,” complained mother-of-one Christine, who said she normally visits the beach park with her young son twice a day. “This is the first time we see dead fish on the beach.”


Over the weekend, mass fish deaths were reported along the eastern Johor Straits. According to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), the incident is a result of gill damage caused by plankton – micro-organisms found in the seawater that can multiply quickly in a short period of time.

The phenomenon is known as “plankton bloom”, which can be triggered by unpredictable weather, high concentrations of nutrients in the seawater, and poor water exchange between the high and low tides.

So far, no marine biotoxin has been detected in any of the fish collected by AVA, whose laboratory tests suggested fish harvested from local farms are safe for consumption.


Still, the sight of dead marine creatures along Singapore’s shoreline has raised concern about the safety of eating locally bred fish.

This morning, Mr Ramle Samaa was planning to catch some fish but had to change his mind when he spotted hundreds of dead fish lying across Pasir Ris Beach.

“My hobby is fishing. Today, I decided not to go, because when I went to the beach, I saw a lot of dead fish. So I think it’s not healthy to get a fish at the moment,” he explained. “It’s not one, but a few hundred. So, it’s not healthy”.

His concern was echoed by one of the cleaners at the beach park, Mr Shafiq Daniel Lau. Although the mass mortality of fish in Singapore is nothing new to him, the number of dead fish this year has made him worried. “I’m very concerned. This year is very bad. In the last two years, I was working here but there weren’t as many dead fish. This year, there are many,” he said.

Local fish farmers affected by the plankton bloom said this year’s phenomenon is worse than that of the previous year. In 2014, 39 fish farms along the East and West Johor Straits experienced mass deaths of their marine animals, when close to 160 tonnes of fish were found dead. The deaths were reportedly caused by a plankton bloom and low level of dissolved oxygen in the seawater.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Thousands of dead fishes at Pasir Ris
By Ria Tan, 28th February 2015;

Thousand of dead fishes washed up at Pasir Ris beach today. Sean Yap also shared photos of dead fishes found on the same stretch of western Pasir Ris that I surveyed.

What is causing this mass fish death? Is it harmful to humans?

There was a line of dead fishes along the area I surveyed. Some had a thinner line.

In the part of the shore outside Pasir Ris Park proper, there was a bigger build up of dead fishes. But even here, the cleaners were trying hard to clear up the fishes. I also met Dixon who was cycling in the area and went down to the shore. I asked for his help to go down the entire length of Pasir Ris Park to see how widespread the dead fishes are. Thank you Dixon!

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

Dead fish update: Pasir Ris, Seletar Dam, Sembawang
By Ria Tan, 27th February 2015;

Today I had a quick look at the western shores of Pasir Ris. There were a few large dead fishes and many smaller ones. All appeared to be wild fishes. Also, dead cuttlefishes and horseshoe crabs. I didn’t see any dead farm fishes. Sightings of dead fishes at Seletar Dam (Benjamin Li) and Sembawang (Tan Sijie) were also shared recently.

Timothy Hromatka, a fish farmer off Ubin also shared more about the recent fish deaths on the farms.

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

Dropped by Changi Beach on Friday late afternoon for a brief check on the fish mass death situation. Lots of fishes that were likely from the fish farms (e.g. groupers, snappers, barramundi, pompano and golden trevally), but there were quite a number of wild fishes affected as well.