Daily Decay (17th March 2018)

Daily Decay (17th March 2018): Snubnose Pompano (Trachinotus blochii) @ Changi

This was one of the many casualties of a fish mass death in February 2014, caused by a harmful algal bloom in the eastern Straits of Johor.

Many of the offshore fish farms in the Straits of Johor raise Snubnose Pompano for human consumption, so this carcass could have come from one of the farmed fishes, instead of being of wild origin.

 

Daily Decay (10th February 2018)


Daily Decay (10th February 2018): Snubnose Pompano (Trachinotus blochii) @ Pasir Ris

This was one of the many casualties of a fish mass death in late February and March 2015, caused by a harmful algal bloom in the eastern Straits of Johor.

Many of the offshore fish farms in the Straits of Johor raise Snubnose Pompano for human consumption, so this carcass could have been one of the farmed fishes, instead of being of wild origin.

Snubnose Pompano (Trachinotus blochii)
Changi, 8th January 2017

Many of the offshore fish farms in the Straits of Johor raise Snubnose Pompano for human consumption, so this carcass could have come from one of the farmed fishes, instead of being of wild origin.

Brownback Trevally (Carangoides praeustus)
Pasir Ris, 22nd February 2015

This Brownback Trevally was one of the many casualties of yet another fish mass mortality event that was triggered by a harmful algal bloom.

Talang Queenfish (Scomberoides commersonnianus)
Pasir Ris, 22nd February 2015

This Talang Queenfish was one of the many casualties of yet another fish mass mortality event that was triggered by a harmful algal bloom.

Workers showing the dead Pompano and Red Snapper at a kelong off Pasir Ris beach on Feb 28, 2015. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will help fish farmers affected by the recent fish deaths to recover and restart their farms, it said in a statement. Photo by Kevin Lim

AVA to work with farmers affected by fish deaths to recover and build up resilience
5th March 2015;

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will help fish farmers affected by the recent fish deaths to recover and restart their farms, it said in a statement.

It is also working with external agencies and experts to explore solutions to minimise the impact of plankton bloom.

Late last month, many local fish farms in Changi near the East Johor Straits were affected by plankton bloom. The farms suffered massive fish deaths as a result.

Minister of State for National Development and Defence, Dr Maliki Osman, visited two of the affected fish farms on Thursday.

He said he sympathised with the fish farmers who are affected by the recent incident, but learnt that one farmer who took early action was able to save his fish and minimise losses significantly.

AVA said it sent out an alert to fish farmers in the area on Feb 16 and 17 to warn them about elevated plankton levels and to take the necessary precautions.

“Mr Gary Chang told me that he started preparing for a possible plankton bloom once he was alerted to elevated plankton levels. He lined his net-cages with canvas and installed a simple filtration system to maintain the water quality,” Dr Maliki said.

“Other farmers also took measures, but unfortunately suffered severe losses as they may not have done so early enough.”

Plankton found in seawater can multiply quickly in a very short period of time, and plankton bloom can be triggered by unpredictable weather, higher concentrations of nutrients in the sea water and poor water exchange during high and low tides.

Said Dr Maliki: “Plankton bloom occurrences are very difficult to prevent, but it is possible to reduce the impact. Whilst we provide assistance to help farmers tide over this difficult period, it is also important for farmers to do their part to take mitigating measures early.”

AVA is also looking into how to build up farmers’ resilience against such incidents. This includes putting in place robust contingency plans and conducting contingency exercises, he added. “We will also ask those who have taken early action to share their experience with other farmers.”

Following a similar episode of plankton bloom last year, AVA started to work with the Tropical Marine Science Institute at the National University of Singapore to conduct studies on plankton bloom. The studies are still ongoing.

AVA also called for proposals for closed-containment aquaculture systems for coastal fish farming last year.

The agency recently awarded the tender to five companies to develop a more sustainable sea-based farming system that will minimise exposure to environmental changes, such as plankton bloom.

AVA CEO Tan Poh Hong said: “The proposals from the companies are promising… We hope that the projects can bring about significant improvements to boost the resilience of fish farming.”

Source: The Straits Times (Mirror)

1. Workers showing the dead Pompano and Red Snapper at a kelong off Pasir Ris beach yesterday. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore attributed the deaths to gill damage caused by plankton.
2. Workers showing the dead Pompano and Red Snapper at a kelong off Pasir Ris beach on Feb 28, 2015. The fish at the fish farms off Changi have been found dead.
3. Dead Snappers (mostly Pompano in this photo though) at a kelong off Pasir Ris beach on Feb 28, 2015.
4. Workers showing the dead Sea Bass at a kelong. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) attributed the deaths to gill damage caused by plankton.
5. Workers looking at dead fish at a kelong off Pasir Ris beach on 28 February 2015.. Lab tests conducted so far did not detect biological toxins in the fish, and fish from local farms remain safe to eat, an AVA spokesman said.
6. Dead fish were also seen along the Pasir Ris shoreline.
7. The dead fish, believed to have come from the wild, washed ashore along Pasir Ris beach.
Photos by Kevin Lim

Mass fish deaths overnight hit Changi farmers hard
By Kash Cheong, 1st March 2015;

Thousands of fish have died in coastal farms off Changi, in a repeat of last year’s nightmare for farmers.

Farmers woke up yesterday morning to the sight of their fish floating belly up – the mass deaths had occurred through the night, so they had no opportunity to try to save their fish.

Dead fish were also seen along the Pasir Ris shoreline.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) attributed the deaths to gill damage caused by plankton. Lab tests conducted so far did not detect biological toxins in the fish, and fish from local farms remains safe to eat, an AVA spokesman said.

At around the same period last year, 160 tonnes of fish died suddenly, also after being poisoned by plankton, and the 39 affected fish farms lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Yesterday, some despairing farmers told The Sunday Times that they hope to get more support and training in modern farming methods that can minimise pollution and bacteria growth, particularly since the authorities are encouraging the trade to help boost Singapore’s self-sufficiency in food production.

AVA had advised farmers to take precautions since Feb 16, when there were elevated plankton levels detected in the East Johor Strait.

But the overnight deaths took most by surprise.

“I thought I was prepared this year. I even had aerated tanks to save the fish if a few started dying,” said fish farmer Timothy Hromatka, 42, who studied marine biology.

“But it was too late,” said Mr Hromatka, who lost most of his fish.

Fish farmer Phillip Lim, 53, noting that a few fish had started dying as early as mid-February, added dejectedly: “That was just the ‘appetiser’. Friday night was the ‘main course’.”

The former president of the Singapore Marine Aquaculture Cooperative estimates that almost 50 farms were affected this time round.

“It could be worse than last year. This year, it looks like more fish died and the wild fish also died,” added Mr Lim, who estimates his losses at more than $50,000. He reared popular species such as Sea Bass (Barramundi) (), Snapper (Lutjanus sp.) and Pomfret (Snubnose Pompano) (Trachinotus blochii).

Fish farmer Daniel Wee, 40, is in the same predicament.

He had received tens of thousands of dollars from the AVA to kick-start his fish farm again after last year’s mass deaths wiped out his stock, and spent another $20,000 on fish feed. But yet again, most of his 70,000 fish were wiped out. “It’s a really, really tough business now,” said Mr Wee, who estimates he lost $100,000.

“We need to learn new methods to take local fish farming to the next level.”

Source: The Straits Times