Photos by Frank Tan of Marine Life Aquaculture

Large stocks of fish wiped out by plankton blooms
Several fish farmers in the East have seen large stocks of their fish wiped out after the coast was hit by a tide containing huge plankton blooms.
28th February 2015;

Several fish farmers in the East saw large stocks of their fish wiped out early Saturday (Feb 28) morning after the coast was hit by a tide containing huge plankton blooms.

When this happens fish have to compete with the micro-organisms for oxygen, which could cause them to die.

Philip Lim, who owns three fish farms, said: “It’s huge. It’ll cost me about S$50,000. All the fishes have come in just about three months ago, some of them just came in one month ago.”

Mr Lim sent Channel NewsAsia videos of the scene on Saturday, saying his entire stock of fish was either dead or dying.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) had said in a statement on Friday that it would monitor the situation, and work closely with the fish farmers to mitigate the situation.

It had warned the farmers early last week after detecting elevated plankton levels in the area, said AVA.

AVA has also deployed waste disposal vessels to assist farmers in the disposal of dead fish at the East Johor Straits caused by the elevated plankton levels.

On Feb 18, coastal fish farms at the Straits reported dead fish in the area. Since then, AVA has been visiting the fish farmers to ascertain the situation, offer advice to them to mitigate the situation, such as canvas-bagging, and collecting fish samples from the affected farms for analyses.

AVA said some farms have carried out emergency harvest of the fish in view of the elevated plankton levels.

It had earlier reported that laboratory tests conducted did not detect marine biotoxins in the fish. AVA said fish harvested from local farms are safe for consumption.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

The bottom photo shows a closeup of several dead Four-finger Threadfin (Eleutheronema tetradactylum). The news clip on the Channel NewsAsia site showed footage of a floating fish cage full of dead Snubnose Pompano (Trachinotus blochii), as well as a dying Spotted Sicklefish (Drepane punctata).

1-2. Very large dead fish probably washed up at most recent high tide.
3. I saw about 20 of these small dead groupers.
4-5. Other dead fishes seen.

I heard the water was not quite right at pasir ris. So had a quick look. White powdery insoluble stuff deposited at most recent tide line. Dead fishes of various kinds large and small every 20 steps or so. Beginning of plankton bloom? Will blog later.

Ria Tan Facebook

The fishes pictured are Pickhandle Barracuda (Sphyraena jello) (1-2), some sort of juvenile Grouper (Epinephelus sp.) (3), Talang Queenfish (Scomberoides commersonnianus) (4) and Snubnose Pompano (Trachinotus blochii) (5). The young Groupers and possibly the Snubnose Pompano are likely to have originated from the fish farms offshore, but the Pickhandle Barracuda and Talang Queenfish are wild fishes that were possibly also affected by the adverse environmental conditions.

Philippines: Oil spill from Sual power plant threatens 700 fish cages

By Joel Locsin, 28th October 2014;

An oil spill from the coal-fired Sual power plant in Pangasinan is threatening some 700 fish cages in the area.

The sight of thick oil and dead fish startled residents in the area since early Monday morning, GMA Dagupan’s Joyce Segui reported on GMA News’ Saksi.

“Confirmed that we have an oil spill because of pipe rupture sa isa sa aming mga facilities,” said Jessa Calaunan of Team Energy Sual.

Since the oil spill is near 700 fish cages, many fear the incident may affect local mariculture and marine fishing industries.

The Sual mariculture park produces 20 metric tons of bangus (Milkfish) (Chanos chanos) and 10 metric tons of pompano (probably Snubnose Pompano) (Trachinotus blochii). Most are sold in Metro Manila.

Municipal environment and sanitation officials have taken samples of the water.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 1 has taken efforts to prevent the spill from spreading.

Provincial environment officials are also monitoring the incident.

Source: GMA News Online

Philippines: Oil spill from Sual power plant threatens 700 fish cages

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.

Yesterday, fish farm workers in the Pasir Ris area were seen moving bags of dead fish by boat to the vicinity of Changi Point Ferry Terminal, where a container had been set up for dead fish. – ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Pasir Ris mass fish deaths may lead to over $1 million loss for farmers
By Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh, 11th February 2014;

Pasir Ris has been hit by mass fish deaths, with farmers there estimating that fish dying by the thousands daily could lead to losses exceeding $1 million.

Several affected fish farmers said the deaths started one or two days before the first day of the Chinese New Year.

Yesterday, fish farm workers in the area were seen moving bags of dead fish by boat to the vicinity of Changi Point Ferry Terminal, where a container had been set up for dead fish.

Fish farmer Simon Ho, 64, said he has lost about 20,000 fish, including Grouper (F. Serranidae) and Silver Pomfret (Snubnose Pompano) (Trachinotus blochii), and could lose almost $50,000. “A lot of us could go bankrupt because of this.”

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is looking into the mass fish deaths in over 20 farms near Pasir Ris, along the East Johor Strait.

It said causes could include low levels of dissolved oxygen or plankton bloom caused by the hot weather and neap tide, or when the high tide is at its lowest. Plankton blooms happen when micro-organisms in the seawater multiply quickly, draining the seawater of oxygen.

In 2010, a plankton bloom wiped out more than 200,000 fish around Pasir Ris.

Pasir Ris fish farmers are now trying to stem their losses by pumping oxygen and pouring medicine into the water to increase the immunity of the fish.

The AVA, which has collected samples from the farms for analysis, said it is helping farmers set up aeration systems to pump oxygen into the water.

But affected farmers want help in other areas to keep their business afloat. They said factors like cheap fish from Malaysia will make it hard for them to recover.

Fish farm owner Tang Kwai Leng, who is in her 50s, said she has lost over 3,000 fish. This includes Red Groupers (Coral Groupers) (Plectropomus spp.), which can fetch $40 for 1kg. She said: “This is a black new year for us.”

Source: The Straits Times (Mirror)

Farms along East Johor Straits report fish mortality

9th February 2014;

More than 20 fish farms along the East Johor Straits have reported incidents of fishes dying just before the start of the Lunar New Year. This has caused an estimated loss of more than S$3 million.

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Farms along East Johor Straits report fish mortality