Monday Morgue

A morbid celebration of wildlife in Singapore

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Yet another fish mass death, this time off the northwestern coast of Singapore, along Sungei Buloh and Lim Chu Kang. It started on Thursday (17th April 2014), when thousands of fishes floated into Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with the incoming tide. Only a single species appears to have been affected: Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus), which happens to be raised in great numbers in the offshore fish farms in the area. No other fish species in the area, both wild and farmed, have been observed to have died in such numbers. However, the fish farmers say that none of their fish stocks suffered any mass mortality, and all the dead fishes floating in the sea outside their floating cages don’t come from their farms. Most perplexing.

Yet another fish mass death, this time off the northwestern coast of Singapore, along Sungei Buloh and Lim Chu Kang. It started on Thursday (17th April 2014), when thousands of fishes floated into Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with the incoming tide. Only a single species appears to have been affected: Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus), which happens to be raised in great numbers in the offshore fish farms in the area. No other fish species in the area, both wild and farmed, have been observed to have died in such numbers. However, the fish farmers say that none of their fish stocks suffered any mass mortality, and all the dead fishes floating in the sea outside their floating cages don’t come from their farms. Most perplexing.

seafood aquaculture marine fish mass death Sungei Buloh Lim Chu Kang fish farm teleosts Mugiliformes Mugilidae Mugil cephalus human activities pollution threats Straits of Johor mullets

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When TODAY visited the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday, a small number of dead fish were still spotted. Photo: Ernest Chua
Fish farmers unclear where dead fish at Sungei Buloh are fromBy Kok Xing Hui, 19th April 2014;
Local fish farmers in the Western Johor Straits were puzzled as to where the scores of dead fish that had washed up at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Thursday came from, saying they had not heard about fish deaths at other farms.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has said it did not detect a plankton bloom, which was cited as a possible reason for wiping out 160 tonnes of fish from local fish farms on both the Western and Eastern Johor Straits in February.
Yesterday, a fish farm owner who identified himself only as Mr Chia, said the deaths could be due to issues with the water. He explained that due to the nature of water flow, problems at one spot might not necessarily affect the entire area.
Responding to queries, the AVA said water near Singapore’s coastal fish farms is regularly sampled as part of routine surveillance by the authority. “Currently, no abnormalities have been detected at our coastal fish farms. AVA will continue to monitor closely.”
When TODAY visited the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday, a small number of dead fish were still spotted, although the National Parks Board had carried out a clean-up on Thursday. The waters were littered with styrofoam, plastic bottles and other debris — something birdwatcher Robin Sim said was not always the case. “Usually, there are just a few (pieces of rubbish),” he said. “But it’s hard to control, (as the water) does lead to the open sea.”
Source: TODAY (Mirror)

When TODAY visited the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday, a small number of dead fish were still spotted. Photo: Ernest Chua

Fish farmers unclear where dead fish at Sungei Buloh are from
By Kok Xing Hui, 19th April 2014;

Local fish farmers in the Western Johor Straits were puzzled as to where the scores of dead fish that had washed up at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Thursday came from, saying they had not heard about fish deaths at other farms.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has said it did not detect a plankton bloom, which was cited as a possible reason for wiping out 160 tonnes of fish from local fish farms on both the Western and Eastern Johor Straits in February.

Yesterday, a fish farm owner who identified himself only as Mr Chia, said the deaths could be due to issues with the water. He explained that due to the nature of water flow, problems at one spot might not necessarily affect the entire area.

Responding to queries, the AVA said water near Singapore’s coastal fish farms is regularly sampled as part of routine surveillance by the authority. “Currently, no abnormalities have been detected at our coastal fish farms. AVA will continue to monitor closely.”

When TODAY visited the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday, a small number of dead fish were still spotted, although the National Parks Board had carried out a clean-up on Thursday. The waters were littered with styrofoam, plastic bottles and other debris — something birdwatcher Robin Sim said was not always the case. “Usually, there are just a few (pieces of rubbish),” he said. “But it’s hard to control, (as the water) does lead to the open sea.”

Source: TODAY (Mirror)

flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus Mugilidae Mugiliformes teleosts fish fish farm aquaculture seafood human activities threats pollution Straits of Johor Sungei Buloh Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve SBWR marine mass death mullets

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What the fish? Figuring out dead fishes at Sungei Buloh
By Ria Tan, 19th April 2014;

We checked on the dead fish situation early this morning. With a quick stop at the makeshift jetty at the end of Lim Chu Kang that is used by Western fish farms.

We also pondered about the dead fishes: what kind of fish are they? Do Singapore fish farms raise these fishes? A few of us employed The Google and came up with some answers and lots more questions.

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

Wild Shores of Singapore marine Lim Chu Kang Sungei Buloh Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve SBWR fish teleosts Mugiliformes Mugilidae Mugil cephalus flathead grey mullet mass death aquaculture fish farm seafood pollution threats human activities mullets

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NParks staff find dead fish at Sungei Buloh reserve

By Kok Xing Hui, 18th April 2014

Scores of dead fish have been found again — this time at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve near the West Johor Straits.

The mysterious deaths come two months after 160 tonnes of fish from fish farms on both the East and West Johor Straits were found dead and washed up at parks and on beaches. Low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, a plankton bloom or both, as well as the hot weather, had been fingered as the cause then.

A plankton bloom was, however, not detected yesterday, said a joint statement from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and the National Parks Board (NParks) in response to TODAY’s queries.

NParks staff noticed the dead fish in the morning. When AVA inspectors visited coastal fish farms in the West Johor Straits, none were found to have been affected. The inspectors also did not detect abnormalities there, such as mass mortalities.

The AVA said it is monitoring the situation closely, while NParks said it would be removing the dead fish at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

The authorities did not give an estimate of the number of dead fish in the area.

The AVA also said it conducts regular inspections of fish farms for compliance with licensing conditions, which include requiring the farms to ensure waste generated from farming operations is properly disposed in approved waste containers on land.

For the West Johor Straits, a skip tank and bins at Lim Chu Kang Jetty are designated as waste collection points.

“The AVA has been working closely with local farmers to encourage good farm practices, including proper waste management. In addition, we work with relevant agencies to detect illegal dumping of waste into the sea by fish farms. We will take enforcement action if farms are found to be disposing their farm waste into the water,” said the AVA.

Source: TODAY (Mirror)

Sungei Buloh Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve SBWR marine fishes mass death aquaculture fish farm seafood Straits of Johor pollution threats human activities

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Still lots of dead fishes at Sungei Buloh
by Ria Tan, 18th April 2014;

I saw lots of dead fishes floating in with the incoming high tide at the Main Bridge at Sungei Buloh.

The fishes looked less ‘freshly dead’ and were probably the same ones I saw yesterday. Besides the many farm fishes, I saw one dead Catfish and one dead Scat. It was raining and I couldn’t see any of the usual wild fishes. There were even some dead farm fishes at the Mangrove Boardwalk.

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

Wild Shores of Singapore flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus Mugilidae Mugiliformes teleosts fishes Sungei Buloh Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve SBWR mass death marine fish farm aquaculture seafood pollution human activities threats Straits of Johor mullets

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Dead fish were found along river banks at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. — ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Dead fish wash up at Sungei Buloh reserve
By Grace Chua, 18th April 2014;
Thousands of dead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus), a popular farmed fish, washed up at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday, startling visitors there.
In the afternoon, as the high tide went out, dead fish brought in by the tide were left along river banks, though native halfbeak fish in the Sungei Buloh Besar river seemed unaffected.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority also said Singapore’s coastal fish farms in the western Johor Strait had not been hit by die-offs, and no plankton blooms or any abnormalities had been detected.
The agency cautioned it would take enforcement action against farms found to be illegally dumping farm waste into the water.
Meanwhile, the National Parks Board said it would be removing the dead fish at the reserve.
At the Lim Chu Kang jetty, fish farmers said their farms were not hit, and suggested the dead fish could have been washed over from Malaysia.
Some were taking precautions such as lowering their nets so fish could swim deeper for more oxygen.
Earlier this year, 39 fish farms on both sides of the Johor Strait suffered mass fish deaths due to low oxygen levels in the water, and some 160 tonnes of fish died.
Source: The Straits Times

Dead fish were found along river banks at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. — ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Dead fish wash up at Sungei Buloh reserve
By Grace Chua, 18th April 2014;

Thousands of dead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus), a popular farmed fish, washed up at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday, startling visitors there.

In the afternoon, as the high tide went out, dead fish brought in by the tide were left along river banks, though native halfbeak fish in the Sungei Buloh Besar river seemed unaffected.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority also said Singapore’s coastal fish farms in the western Johor Strait had not been hit by die-offs, and no plankton blooms or any abnormalities had been detected.

The agency cautioned it would take enforcement action against farms found to be illegally dumping farm waste into the water.

Meanwhile, the National Parks Board said it would be removing the dead fish at the reserve.

At the Lim Chu Kang jetty, fish farmers said their farms were not hit, and suggested the dead fish could have been washed over from Malaysia.

Some were taking precautions such as lowering their nets so fish could swim deeper for more oxygen.

Earlier this year, 39 fish farms on both sides of the Johor Strait suffered mass fish deaths due to low oxygen levels in the water, and some 160 tonnes of fish died.

Source: The Straits Times

flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus Mugilidae Mugiliformes teleosts fish fish farm aquaculture seafood human activities threats pollution Straits of Johor Sungei Buloh Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve SBWR marine mullets

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Photographs by Kelvin K. P. Lim

Javan Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus javanicus) at Paya Lebar

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Paya Lebar, Paya Lebar Mass Rapid Transport Station; 4 April 2014; around 2300 hrs.

Observation: A male example of 32.3 mm forearm length was found dead on the train station’s platform. The attached figures show the dorso-lateral and the ventral views of the specimen.

Remarks: The specimen is preserved and catalogued as ZRC 4.9490 in the Zoological Reference Collection of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore. It is not known how the bat had died, but the skin on the right side of his abdomen was split open, indicating that he may have suffered a violent impact. It is possible that the bat may have collided with the rotating blades of the giant ceiling fans at the train station platform. This is the second confirmed record of the Javan Pipistrelle in Singapore. Both local records of this species are from urban areas.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 100

Javan pipistrelle Pipistrellus javanicus pipistrelles Vespertilionidae vesper bats Chiroptera bats mammals Paya Lebar urban wildlife human activities threats Singapore Biodiversity Records Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum LKCNHM

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Sad episode: The dead green sea turtles floating in east coast waters off Semporna.
Malaysia: Four more sea turtles found killedBy Muguntan Vanar, 17th April 2014;
Four more endangered Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) have been killed in Sabah’s east coast waters off Semporna.
The turtles were seen floating between Bum Bum Island and Kulapuan Island by a Fisheries Department staff, who then posted it on his Facebook page but later removed it.
The latest killings came hardly a month after the discovery of 50 dead Green Sea Turtles in Pulau Tiga in the northern Kudat district, a case that remains unsolved.
Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF-Malaysia have begun an investigation into the deaths of the Green Sea Turtles in Semporna.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah academician and researcher Dr James Alin, who discovered the Pulau Tiga killings last month, said it was another sad episode in Sabah’s turtle conservation efforts.
Dr Alin said such deaths were unfortunately common in Semporna as he had seen them during his field trips to the area.
Following his discovery of the dead turtles in Kudat, he said he was called to meet with officials from the state Tourism, Culture and Environ­ment Ministry, which oversees various wildlife conservation efforts.
“At the beginning of that meeting, I showed slides of sea turtles kept alive inside a pen (fish cage) in Balambangan Island. I asked if any of the enforcement agencies was interested to arrest the owner.
“None of them seemed to be keen despite me offering to take them to the place,” he claimed, adding that a lack of manpower and logistics were not an excuse as many other agencies, including maritime, were ready to assist.
He claimed that wildlife officials were upset with him for highlighting the dead turtles in the media.
On the latest killing of sea turtles, Dr Alin said the suspects could be farmers, fishermen or the foreign crew of deep sea trawlers operating under joint venture companies in Sabah waters.
“The possible suspects are seaweed farmers who are wary of the turtles (known to the locals as Bokko) that can wipe out their seaweed farms overnight,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said a hotline would be set up by end of the month for people to report about turtle killing and hunting.
“This will enable us to respond faster in our efforts to protect sea turtles,” he said.
Masidi, who said they were investigating the death of the sea turtles, said the move was part of efforts to strengthen enforcement.
Source: The Star

Sad episode: The dead green sea turtles floating in east coast waters off Semporna.

Malaysia: Four more sea turtles found killed
By Muguntan Vanar, 17th April 2014;

Four more endangered Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) have been killed in Sabah’s east coast waters off Semporna.

The turtles were seen floating between Bum Bum Island and Kulapuan Island by a Fisheries Department staff, who then posted it on his Facebook page but later removed it.

The latest killings came hardly a month after the discovery of 50 dead Green Sea Turtles in Pulau Tiga in the northern Kudat district, a case that remains unsolved.

Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF-Malaysia have begun an investigation into the deaths of the Green Sea Turtles in Semporna.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah academician and researcher Dr James Alin, who discovered the Pulau Tiga killings last month, said it was another sad episode in Sabah’s turtle conservation efforts.

Dr Alin said such deaths were unfortunately common in Semporna as he had seen them during his field trips to the area.

Following his discovery of the dead turtles in Kudat, he said he was called to meet with officials from the state Tourism, Culture and Environ­ment Ministry, which oversees various wildlife conservation efforts.

“At the beginning of that meeting, I showed slides of sea turtles kept alive inside a pen (fish cage) in Balambangan Island. I asked if any of the enforcement agencies was interested to arrest the owner.

“None of them seemed to be keen despite me offering to take them to the place,” he claimed, adding that a lack of manpower and logistics were not an excuse as many other agencies, including maritime, were ready to assist.

He claimed that wildlife officials were upset with him for highlighting the dead turtles in the media.

On the latest killing of sea turtles, Dr Alin said the suspects could be farmers, fishermen or the foreign crew of deep sea trawlers operating under joint venture companies in Sabah waters.

“The possible suspects are seaweed farmers who are wary of the turtles (known to the locals as Bokko) that can wipe out their seaweed farms overnight,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said a hotline would be set up by end of the month for people to report about turtle killing and hunting.

“This will enable us to respond faster in our efforts to protect sea turtles,” he said.

Masidi, who said they were investigating the death of the sea turtles, said the move was part of efforts to strengthen enforcement.

Source: The Star

green turtle green sea turtle Chelonia mydas marine reptiles Cheloniidae Testudines turtles Malaysia Sabah Borneo poaching threats human activities fishing human-wildlife conflict

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Thousands of farm fishes rot at Sungei Buloh
by Ria Tan, 17th April 2014;

Thousands of dead farm fishes are floating into Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, raising a stink and many questions.

Another mass fish death at the Singapore’s Western fish farms? Why are the farms not disposing of their dead fish properly? This has happened before in July 2013. What is the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) doing to prevent such mass littering incidents from occurring repeatedly? Why don’t Singapore farms raise native fishes which are better adapted to our waters?

Here’s a closer look at some of the dead fishes. They were all about the same size, about 40cm long and all of the same kind. They look similar to the dead fishes that floated up at Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Buloh last year.

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Source: Wild Shores of Singapore

fish mass death Mugiliformes Mugilidae aquaculture seafood Sungei Buloh Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve SBWR Straits of Johor flathead grey mullet fish farm human activities threats pollution Mugil cephalus marine mullets