Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus)
Lim Chu Kang Lane 6F, 5th February 2016

This unfortunate Reticulated Python had been run over by a vehicle.

Dead fishes at Lim Chu Kang, 19 Jul 2016
By Ria Tan, 19th July 2016;

I checked up on Lim Chu Kang Jetty again. There are no freshly dead fishes, but the ‘old’ dead fishes are still there. And once again, I saw a truckload of expired biscuits being delivered, probably to be fed to the farmed fishes.

Why are hundreds of dead fishes washing up at Lim Chu Kang? The explanation given to the media so far, no fish losses “beyond normal losses”, deaths attributed to low dissolved oxygen and not to plankton bloom. But how can this be “normal losses” when we don’t normally see this many dead fishes washing up at Lim Chu Kang? And even if they were “normal losses” why are farms allowed to dump their dead fishes into the sea?

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

  1. Dead fishes along coastline at Lim Chu Kang jetty on July 18.
  2. Large numbers of dead fish were found near Lim Chu Kang jetty on July 18.
  3. Workers pushing trolleys of dead fish along Lim Chu Kang jetty on July 18.
  4. Dead fish floating on the water near Lim Chu Kang jetty yesterday. Fish farmers blamed the deaths on low levels of dissolved oxygen in the waters of the West Johor Strait, along which about 50 fish farms are located.

Photos: Lim Yaohui

Lim Chu Kang fish deaths ‘due to low oxygen levels’
Fish farms not badly affected; AVA had sent alert last Friday about risk
By Goh Yan Han, 19th July 2016;

Large numbers of dead fish were found near Lim Chu Kang jetty yesterday morning, washed up on the shore or afloat at sea.

Fish farmers attributed the deaths to low levels of dissolved oxygen in the waters of the West Johor Strait, along which about 50 fish farms are located.

The chief executive of The Fish Farmer, Mr Malcolm Ong, 52, told The Straits Times: “According to my monitoring system, dissolved oxygen levels in my farm have been decreasing since July 8.

"There was a marginal increase on July 12 but after that, it came down again and has remained low since. We have been prepared and our staff are on 24-hour standby.”

“As we are not near an open coast, water is slow moving such that dissolved oxygen levels deplete more quickly,” he said.

Fish Farmers Association of Singapore president Timothy Ng said such occurrences are frequent in the Lim Chu Kang area. He said: “Unless the environment improves in terms of water flow, this will recur from time to time and I’m not sure how it can be stopped.”

Farms tend to install aerators that churn the water and ensure there is sufficient supply of dissolved oxygen when levels are low, although these are not always sufficient to prevent deaths.

However, none of the farms contacted by Mr Ng or The Straits Times suffered serious losses.

Dissolved oxygen levels can also differ from farm to farm, said Mr Ong, who monitors the levels and uses pumps and aerators to mitigate any negative impact on his farm. His farm has had several baby fish deaths this past week, a normal occurrence when dissolved oxygen levels are low.

According to Mr Ong, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) sent out an automated alert last Friday about the possibility of low dissolved oxygen levels, and asked farmers to be vigilant. AVA did not respond to queries by press time.

Both Mr Ng and Mr Ong ruled out the possibility of a plankton bloom as a reason for the low levels of dissolved oxygen.

In February last year, a plankton bloom, which gobbles up oxygen in the water, killed an estimated 500 to 600 tonnes of fish, affecting 55 out of 63 fish farms along the East Johor Strait.

Farms in the Lim Chu Kang area were also severely affected by a plankton bloom in March last year, with one of the farms losing all 35 tonnes of its fish.

Source: The Straits Times

Dead fishes at West Johor Strait, 17-18 Jul 2016
By Ria Tan, 18th July 2016;

Hundreds of dead fishes have been seen washing up at West Johor Strait over the last two days.

Most of the dead fishes were about the same size and look like the Milkfish (Chanos chanos) farmed by the largest fish farm in that area. Has there been another mass fish death among the fish farms in the West Johor Strait? If so, what caused it? What does this mean for public health? What can and has been done to improve ecosystem health in the area to prevent a recurrence?

Yesterday (17 Jul 2016), at around 10.30am today, a concerned nature lover shared sightings of what looked like hundreds of dead fishes floating into Sungei Buloh Besar with the incoming tide. I only managed to get there around 3pm and the tide had already gone down. So I saw only some dead fishes at Sungei Buloh Besar as well as the Kranji extension. Most of the dead fishes were about the same size and look like the Milkfish farmed by the largest fish farm in that area. Here’s more photos in this Facebook album.

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

Scores of dead fish were found floating belly-up on the water or washed up along with rubbish and debris along the shore at Lim Chu Kang jetty on Monday (July 18) morning.
Video: Lim Yaohui

Source: The Straits Times

  1. Dead fish spotted at Lim Chu Kang jetty on July 18, 2016.
  2. Dead fish floating on the water at Lim Chu Kang jetty on July 18, 2016.
  3. Workers pushing trolleys of dead fish along Lim Chu Kang jetty on July 18, 2016.

Photos: Lim Yaohui

Scores of dead fish found at Lim Chu Kang jetty
By Sanjay Nair & Lim Yaohui, 18th July 2016;

Scores of dead fish were spotted at Lim Chu Kang jetty on Monday (July 18) morning.

When The Straits Times visited the scene, the fish were seen either floating belly-up on the water or washed up along with water bottles and other rubbish along the shore.

A pungent smell emanated from the area, as well as from several black plastic bags at a rubbish bin nearby.

A boat belonging to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) was docked at the jetty, while a “kelong”-like structure was combing through the water for checks.

Dead fish were also discovered by The Straits Times at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Monday, but in smaller numbers than at Lim Chu Kang.

The Straits Times has contacted AVA for more information.

This is not the first time that mass fish deaths have happened at a park or reservoir here. Last July, hundreds of dead fish were seen in a stream in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, believed to be due to the hot and dry weather.

Source: The Straits Times

  1. This morning, at around noon, I arrived at Lim Chu Kang Jetty. Dead fishes dotted the water between the fish farm and the shoreline, and there was a long line of dead fishes on the tideline for this morning.
  2. Where are the dead fishes? Just walk a few metres down the shore, just beyond sight of the Jetty, a long line of dead fishes. Out of sight but not out of smell.
  3. Deeper in the mangroves, the dead fishes and the trashline has yet to be cleaned up.
  4. Although the high shores of the mangroves look unusually clean.
  5. Most of the fishes look like farmed Milkfish and were about the same size. I saw one Spotted Scat, but no other wild fish.

Hundreds of dead fishes have been seen washing up at West Johor Strait over the last two days. Most of the dead fishes were about the same size and look like the Milkfish (Chanos chanos) farmed by the largest fish farm in that area.

Has there been another mass fish death among the fish farms in the West Johor Strait? If so, what caused it? What does this mean for public health? What can and has been done to improve ecosystem health in the area to prevent a recurrence?

While there appears to have been a good effort to clean up the shores of dead fishes and litter, this effort ends a few metres away. Where dead fishes and litter in a long line along the tideline remain on the shore. Out of sight but not out of smell.

While it’s good to see the effort to keep the place clean and get rid of the dead fishes, AVA should go beyond cleaning up only what can be seen from the Jetty.

There should be an equal effort to understand the underlying causes of repeated and regular mass fish deaths, and to work with all stakeholders to resolve the issues.

More in this blog post http://wildshores.blogspot.com/2016/07/dead-fishes-at-west-johor-strait-17-18.html

You CAN make a difference: Dead Fish Alert!

Please help me monitor dead fishes washing up on the Johor Straits. Please let me know if you see large numbers (more than 10) especially of large dead fishes (more than 20cm long) washing up on the northern shores such as Pulau Ubin, Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Buloh, Kranji, Woodlands Waterfront, Sembawang, Punggol, Lorong Halus, Pasir Ris, Changi.

There are too many shores for me to personally check, so I really appreciate any info or photos that you can share. Thank you!

Source: Ria Tan Facebook

  1. I went to Lim Chu Kang Jetty at about 10pm at high tide and there were some dead fishes clustered at the jetty.
  2. More of the dead fishes at Lim Chu Kang Jetty.
  3. Some look like Milkfish, others look like sea bass?
  4. At around 10.30am today, a concerned nature lover shared sightings of what looked like hundreds of dead fishes floating in Sungei Buloh Besar river with the outgoing tide.
  5. Photo of hundreds of dead fishes taken from Platform 1 at Sungei Buloh facing the fish farms nearby, shared by a concerned nature lover.
  6. Most of the dead fishes documented by the concerned nature lover looked like this and were about the same size.
  7. By the time I got to Sungei Buloh at around 3pm, the tide had already fallen and most of the floating dead fishes washed out of the river. There were some dead fishes stranded on the shore from the mid to low water mark.
  8. I checked out new Sungei Buloh extension (Kranji Nature Trail) and there were some dead fishes scattered along the route.
  9. Most of the dead fishes looked like this and were about the same size.
  10. At around 10.30pm, I stopped by Kranji Dam and also saw a few dead fishes there.

I saw some dead fishes at Lim Chu Kang Jetty tonight.

Earlier this morning at around 10.30am today, a concerned nature lover shared sightings of what looked like hundreds of dead fishes floating into Sungei Buloh Besar with the incoming tide.

I only managed to get there around 3pm and the tide had already gone down. So I saw only some dead fishes at Sungei Buloh Besar as well as the Kranji extension.

Most of the dead fishes were about the same size and look like the Milkfish (Chanos chanos) farmed by the largest fish farm in that area.

Most of the wild fishes seemed alright although there were some Archerfishes (Toxotes sp.) gasping at the water surface at the Main Bridge.

I will check the entire shore again tomorrow.

You CAN make a difference: Dead Fish Alert!

Please help me monitor dead fishes washing up on the Johor Straits. Please let me know if you see large numbers (more than 10) especially of large dead fishes (more than 20cm long) washing up on the northern shores such as Pulau Ubin, Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Buloh, Kranji, Woodlands Waterfront, Sembawang, Punggol, Lorong Halus, Pasir Ris, Changi.

There are too many shores for me to personally check, so I really appreciate any info or photos that you can share. Thank you!

Source: Ria Tan Facebook

Besides Milkfishes, one of the dead fishes photographed at Sungei Buloh is a Grey Mullet (F. Mugilidae), likely a Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus), which is also raised by the fish farms off the coast.

Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor)
Lim Chu Kang, 17th December 2015

This Changeable Lizard carcass was impaled on barbed wire. It’s possibly that it had been caught by a Shrike, which are known to use thorns and barbed wire to hold prey in place while smaller chunks of flesh are ripped off and swallowed. This is also a way to cache food, especially if the prey item is too large to be consumed in one sitting. Three species of Shrikes are known from Singapore, the Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) is a resident breeder here, whereas the Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) and Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) are migratory species that appear in Singapore during the migration season.

Photograph by Erwin Chan

Striped Keelback (Xenochrophis vittatus) eating Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus)

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Jalan Bahtera in compound of Sarimbun Scout Camp; 9 December 2014; around 1600 hrs.

Observation: A Striped Keelback of about 70 cm total length was found freshly dead and in the middle of swallowing an Asian Toad. The accompanying picture shows the anterior part of the dead snake with the hind limbs of the toad sticking out of its mouth.

Remarks: The Striped Keelback is an introduced species in Singapore where it inhabits rural and suburban areas. It is known to feed on frogs and small fishes (Baker & Lim, 2012: 114). The present observation confirms that it also eats toads. The cause of the snake’s death is unknown.

References:

  • Baker, N. & K. K. P. Lim, 2012. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Updated edition. Draco Publishing & Distribution Pte. Ltd. and Nature Society (Singapore).

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 55