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

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

  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.

Dead wild boar washed up at Pasir Ris
By Ria Tan, 10th April 2015;

This morning a dead Wild Boar (Sus scrofa vittatus) was seen washed up at Pasir Ris beach east of Sungei Api Api.

Thanks to this sighting shared by someone who wishes to be known as a “committed Pasir Ris beachcomber”

The Wild Boar is about 60-70cm long. Probably a young adult?

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

Thousand of dead fishes, including catfish and puffer fish, washed up at Pasir Ris beach on Feb 28, 2015. Photo: Sean Yap’s Facebook page

Worry about marine life mounts as more fish die
By Neo Chai Chin, 3rd March 2015;

As fish carcasses continued to wash up on Singapore’s shores yesterday, marine enthusiasts voiced concern about the amount and variety of wild fish and other animal species affected.

They spoke of the need to boost the resilience of the marine ecosystem as some posted on social media that shore walks in recent days have allowed them glimpses of fish species they had never seen.

Fish farmers, meanwhile, continued to add up their losses from the mass fish deaths that caught many by surprise over the weekend.

“It’s kind of sad that the average Singaporean is finding out about our rich marine biodiversity only after they die and get washed up,” said environmental biology undergraduate Sean Yap, who blogged about his friends seeing a large Hollow-cheeked Stonefish (Synanceia horrida) he had not seen before.

Ms Ria Tan, who runs the blog Wild Shores of Singapore, surveyed nine locations in north-eastern Singapore yesterday and posted on her blog: “The large numbers of wild and farmed fishes that I saw … over many locations on our north-eastern shores is worrying. I hope scientists and authorities are looking into the extent of the mass fish deaths, what is causing this and what steps can be taken to improve the health of the ecosystems to avoid a recurrence of such mass deaths.”

Since 2009, Singapore has experienced several episodes of mass fish deaths. Last year, a plankton bloom and low levels of dissolved oxygen led to more than 160 tonnes of fish lost.

Wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai said researchers could consider delving into past research and data collected. “We also need to be concerned if climate change is leading to these events on a more regular (basis) in the future,” he told TODAY, noting that from photos posted, the scale of recent deaths was the largest he had seen.

He said that while red tides, or algal bloom, usually pass within two weeks, there could be a more lasting impact on the ecosystem due to the roles played by different varieties of fish. “I’m a bit worried for birds like some of our Sea Eagles and Otters that depend on fish for their food,” said Mr Subaraj.

Dr Lena Chan, director of the National Parks Board’s (NParks) National Biodiversity Centre, said NParks is concerned about the potential impact of this incident on marine biodiversity here. “We are consulting with other agencies and will carry out further investigations if necessary,” she said.

The Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said over the weekend that going by fish samples collected from affected farms, the fish had died from gill damage caused by plankton. It said laboratory tests conducted so far have not detected marine biotoxins in the fish.

Reeling from the wipeout of his Red Snapper (Lutjanus sp.) and Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) worth about S$700,000, fish farmer Timothy Hromatka said he would have to look into relocating his farm, which is off Pulau Ubin. He had done an overall water quality assessment as part of organic certification of his farm — which he received last month — and the results were good. The assessment covered areas such as heavy metal content, but not the types of plankton found, he said.

He praised the AVA’s efforts and felt great opportunities remain in aquaculture here, but said the ecosystem needs to improve. For instance, when estuaries are converted to reservoirs, mangroves and other vegetation that serve as buffers to regulate nutrient balance in the seawater are lost, making the ecosystem more susceptible to disturbance, he said.

Meanwhile, a fish farm has resorted to crowdfunding to stay afloat. Ah Hua Kelong, which said it lost 80 per cent of its fish last Saturday and is hoping to raise US$20,000 (S$27,300) to help pay expenses for the next three months, had raised US$8,391 on Indiegogo as at 10.30pm yesterday.

A more immediate issue in the coming days is the rotting of dead marine life, said Mr Subaraj, who suggested that young children and older people should avoid contact with the dead fish.

Mr Alvin Tan, 33, who goes to Pasir Ris Park about once a month with his family, said he was aware of the mass fish deaths. As a precaution, the businessman ensures his children do not “go down to the water and beaches”.

Source: TODAY

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