Daily Decay (22nd February 2018)

Daily Decay (22nd February 2018): Spotted Scat (Scatophagus argus) @ 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.

Photos: Benjamin Seetor, The Straits Times, Gills N Claws

Fish farm might close due to oil spill
Fish farms in Pulau Ubin in costly ordeal after oil spill from vessels collision reaches them
By Kimberly Lim, 7th January 2017;

It has been an anxious three days for Mr Steven Suresh, who has been shuttling between his office in mainland Singapore and his fish farm located in north Pulau Ubin.

Gills N Claws, an aquaculture company, has a total of $500,000 worth of seafood at stake because of the oil spill in Johor, said the 46-year-old chief executive officer.

He is waiting for the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) to release the results of food safety tests conducted on the fish samples.

The Tuesday night collision between two container vessels saw 300 tonnes of oil spillage.

By the following night, patches of oil were seen along the beaches of Singapore’s north-eastern coast.

Mr Steven said: “This whole experience has been horrifying and shocking. I really do not know what to do.

"We have been waiting for AVA’s reply to find out if we can still salvage any of our fish.”

The future for the company remains uncertain for now, he added.

“We have no insurance for the farm because it was not made available to us. We were affected by the red tide during the previous two years and we were just recovering from that when the oil spill happened,” he said.

Mr Steven expects the results to be out by tomorrow. But sales to restaurants, fishmongers and wholesalers have been brought to a standstill.

He said: “We have 40 tonnes of fish stocked up for the Chinese New Year, with each tonne costing up to $7,000. From my experience, my fish are definitely gone already. We cannot pull out the net or feed the fish.

"We also have four tonnes of lobsters, costing $55,000 per tonne. As far as I know, the lobsters are gone too – nobody will want to buy lobsters with oil coated on them.”

Mr Steven added: “The clean-up for the farm will take at least four months to complete and our business will have to stop because of it.”

He said the farm has to undergo structural changes on top of purchasing new nets and high-density floating polyethylene cubes.

There is a high chance the company will close down because of the time required to clean up, he said.

Mr Tan Choon Teck, owner of FC57E Fish Farm, also sent fish samples to AVA for testing.

The 54-year-old said in Mandarin: “AVA came to collect the fish sample on Wednesday but has not notified us on when the results will be released.

"I have not estimated the losses made but some of my small fishes have died.”

He added: “I have been feeling very anxious because I am afraid that more fish will die. I have also been very busy with cleaning the oil.”

Some fish farms have managed to escape the ordeal.

Among them is The Fish Farmer, located in the south of Pulau Ubin.

Mr Malcolm Ong, 53, the chief executive officer, said: “We were unaffected by the oil spill but it came close to the farm and skirted right past us.

‘Small Community’

"I feel very lucky and fortunate, but also a bit pained for our fellow farmers because we are a small community. It is a big blow for them and we hope that they can recover from this.”

AVA has been visiting coastal fish farms in the East Johor Strait to assess the situation and assist in the clean-up, such as issuing oil absorbent pads and canvas to 25 farmers closest to the oil spill.

Some farms have reported loss of 250kg of fish.

AVA said: “To ensure food safety, AVA has collected fish samples for food safety tests and will continue to do so. We have also issued suspension of sales to 12 farms as (of yesterday).

"The suspension will be in place until food safety evaluations are complete. Fish available in the market is safe for consumption.”

Dr Leong Hon Keong, group director of AVA’s technology and industry development group, said: “As compared to the day before, we have observed more farms with tainted nets and structures in the East Johor Strait due to the tidal movement.

"AVA will continue to monitor the situation and assist the fish farmers, including assisting in cleanup efforts.”

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said: “Clean-up operations are still on going at Changi Point Ferry Terminal, fish farms at Nenas Channel, and at Noordin beach, northern coastline of Pulau Ubin. Oil spill response vessels as well as containment booms and spill recovery equipment, such as harbour busters, skimmers and absorbent booms and pads, have also been deployed.”

Source: The New Paper

The fish raised by farmers in Trat have died due to an unknown cause. (Photos by Jakkrit Waewkraihong)

Thailand: Trat village probes mass fish kill
By Jakkrit Waewkraihong, 4th August 2015;

Officials in Trat province are trying to determine what caused a mass fish die-off in a Muang district canal.

Fish, crab, shrimp and other marine life died in the Khlong Son canal over the past 24 hours. Boonnote Phumanee, head of Saphan Hin village, went to the waterway Tuesday morning after residents reported the strong stench of fish as far as a half-kilometre away.

In the upper section of the canal, which flows into the sea, some Asian sea bass (Lates calcarifer) and Grouper (SubF. Epinephelinae) raised in baskets also died.

Fish raisers said they suspected water in the canal, which had turned reddish brown, caused the fish to die. Residue of a yellow liquid were found covering the beach for about 200 metres and in the sea. It was not yet known where the liquid came from.

The village headman said water samples would be taken for testing.

Some villagers alleged the reddish-brown water was from a shrimp farm owned by a high-level police officer, but that had not been confirmed, Mr Boonnote said.

Source: Bangkok Post

Based on the photo, at least one Spotted Scat (Scatophagus argus) was the victim of this mass mortaity event.

Tentative identifications:

  1. Telkara Glass Perchlet (Ambassis vachellii), Peanut Worm (Sipuncula)
  2. Mangrove Whipray (Himantura walga), Grouper (Epinephelus sp.)
  3. Grouper
  4. Mangrove Whipray
  5. Mangrove Whipray
  6. Green Chromide (Etroplus suratensis)
  7. Green Chromide
  8. Sole (F. Soleidae)
  9. Spotted Scat (Scatophagus argus)
  10. Green Chromide

Reporting from Seletar Dam facing Johor side. Unusually strong pungent smell from the sea got my curiosity as I was riding past this stretch.

Along the shores was a zone of 2 metres with dead horseshoe crabs (F. Limulidae), Mangrove Whiprays (Himantura walga), Flower Crab (Portunus pelagicus), Grouper (Epinephelus sp.), Sand Whiting (Sillago sp.), Green Chromide (Etroplus suratensis), Spotted Scat (Scatophagus argus), Barramundi (Lates calcarifer), Toadfish (F. Batrachoididae), shrimps and huge colonies of marine bristleworms (Polychaeta).

Source: Benjamin Li Facebook

(This is Part 2 of a 3-part photo set)

Spotted Scat

image
Spotted Scat (Scatophagus argus)
Changi, 7th June 2012

This dead Spotted Scat was found by Xu Weiting, who shared a photo of it on Facebook.

Find out how you can contribute to Monday Morgue as well.