Sunday, December 30, 2007

turtle terror @ labrador

A young couple came by whilst the Labrador spirit tormented the buoy. The new high fence was no match for the chap carrying a plastic (which i later found out to be filled with 2 turtles) bag.

The chap easily (whilst carrying the bag of turtles) climbed over and made his way along the outside of the fence and down to the beach where he promptly released both turtles. One dived headlong into the water and whilst the other hesitated before running into the waves.

Strangely, the one which dived headlong decided that it did not like the water after all and crawled it's way back up to the beach.

(spot the turtle...where is it?)





It headed for the shadows of the overhead walkway. The couple got up to leave and then I asked them if the turtles were sea turtles....to wit they said 'yes'. I replied that sea turtles do not walk but haul themselves around on 'flippers'. Most likely what they released were fresh-water turtles.

I then asked where they had bought the 'sea turtles'...and they said 'Chinatown market'.
A short explanation was offered about why the turtles being released (for prayer purposes) at a beach was not a good idea...as they would most surely die in such saline conditions given that they were not sea turtles.

And why buy and release turtles anyway? 'Traditionally, it's for good luck.' was the answer.

I can't imagine good luck being derived from releasing non-native animals to an ecosystem to which they are not suited to. The only good luck was that accruing to the person who sold the turtles and the monitor lizard or fish which was going to eat the turtles


The chap was keen to listen and agreed to rescue the released animals...After much looking around, he did locate one of the turtles. He bagged it and climbed back out. On closer view, it was a greenish clawed turtle with distinctive legs (not flippers) and a slightly long neck. Definitely not a sea-turtle with flippers.

The couple headed off to West Coast Park's Marsh Garden to release the re-captured turtle. At least Marsh Garden was brackish and not as saline as the open sea at Labrador Beach. Hopefully, they re-consider this practice and give it up without buying another turtle to bring them good luck.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Legislation which may be applicable to the dumping at Labrador's intertidal zone.

PARKS & TREES ACT
Restricted activities in respect of trees, plants, etc., in national parks and nature reserves
8. —(1) No person shall, except with the approval of the Commissioner granted under section 12 and in accordance with the terms and conditions of
such approval, carry out any of the following activities within any national park or nature reserve:
(a) cut, collect or displace any tree or plant or any part thereof;
(b) affix, set up or erect any sign, shrine, altar, religious object, shelter, structure or building;
(c) clear, break up, dig or cultivate any land;
(d) use or occupy any building, vehicle, boat or other property of the Board; or
(e) wilfully drop or deposit any dirt, sand, earth, gravel, clay, loam, manure, refuse, sawdust, shavings, stone, straw or any other matter or thing from outside the national park or nature reserve.
(2) No person shall carry out any activity within any national park or nature reserve which he knows or ought reasonably to know causes or may cause alteration, damage or destruction to any property, tree or plant within the national park or nature reserve.
(3) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000; or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine of $500 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.
(4) Subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply to —
(a) the Commissioner, an authorised officer or a park ranger acting in the performance of his duty under this Act;
(b) any other officer or employee of the Board acting in the performance of his duty under this Act or any other written law; and
(c) any police officer or workman assisting a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) to carry out his duty.


ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH ACT
Prohibition against throwing refuse, etc., in any public place
17. —(1) No person shall
(a) deposit, drop, place or throw any dust, dirt, paper, ash, carcase, refuse, box, barrel, bale or any other article or thing in any public place;
(b) keep or leave any article or thing in any place where it or particles therefrom have passed or are likely to pass into any public place;
(c) dry any article of food or any other article or thing in any public place;
(d) place, scatter, spill or throw any blood, brine, noxious liquid, swill or any other offensive or filthy matter of any kind in such manner as to run or fall into any public place;
(e) beat, clean, shake, sieve or otherwise agitate any ash, hair, feathers, lime, sand, waste paper or other substance in such manner that it is carried or likely to be carried by the wind to any public place;
(f) throw or leave behind any bottle, can, food container, food wrapper, glass, particles of food or any other article or thing in any public place;
(g) spit any substance or expel mucus from the nose upon or onto any street or any public place; or
(h) discard or abandon in any public place any motor vehicle whose registration has been cancelled under section 27 of the Road Traffic Act (Cap. 276), any furniture or any other bulky article.
(2) No person shall drop, deposit or throw any refuse or any other matter or thing in any channel, drain, lake, reservoir, river, stream or watercourse or upon the bank of any of the same or in any part of the sea abutting on the foreshore.
(3) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Labrador - hope & rebirth..... and waiting

A Christmas day surprise.... the cofferdam walls are coming down!












But there is sooooo much debris..... I hope MPA and their main contractor do a good cleanup job! (hint : remove all foreign objects). I wonder where these concrete chunks will be dumped? Will they be totally removed from Labrador or will they merely be dumped 'out of sight'? After all, concrete is supposed to be 'good' for reefs (refer to the reefbuilding project at the other end of Labrador Beach).


There were a quite a few 'new' tires on the beach... these were most likely abandoned by the contractors from their boats/barges as they were all within a few metres of each other and not spread out over the whole length of the beach (which would imply that they floated in from far and away).

Loose tires are a constant feature on Singapore's shores. Commonly used by local marine craft as a cheap and effective bumper, these are frequently cut away or thrown overboard by boatowners/operators just so that they do now have to dispose of them on their own. Perhaps could insist that boatoperators print their boat registration numbers on all such tires so that errant litterbugs can be identified and prosecuted. MPA are after all in charge of marine pollution concerns.








This looks newly put up. Sumitomo Corp are the main contractors. I wonder what their environmental policy is. Construction-site first and Environment later or vice versa...or a quirky balance of both depending on who's looking and asking questions?




It was thought that some of the items and rubbish seen earlier had already been removed. Eg. the outboard motor. (see : http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Vxu_tx5NynY/R1_vgNkh08I/AAAAAAAADYE/fnMMMNPVobs/s1600-h/d7881m6.jpg)

Correction : the outboard motor is still there. Something that heavy could not have been floated in with the tide.


The poorly thought out reefbuilding ($145,000) project
Things are still gloomy for the more visible beach end of Labrador Nature Reserve.

Here's a pic showing what's left of the "experiment in progress' sign.....sigh!
Building a reef is good...but the methods used must support the ecosystem as a whole and not carelessly or inadvertently harm one part whilst showing that effort was expended to improve another part. This especially so when the methods used do not exhibit any signs of adequate planning. (How else can one explain the abandonement of at least 3 seacil structures all over the intertidal zone?).


Close-ups of the some of the concrete seacils




What an EYESORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




More plastic.


A disintegrating corner of one of the abandoned seacil structures. Plastic piping is good for our nature reserves?






More plastic bits.


A shot from above...



And more plastic....which will break off and form part of our shores forever...all because some educational institution decided to abandon their unwanted seacil structures on the shore. Why did they not want so many structures which they had painstakingly built? ... Could it be because of improper planning? Or the team got tired? And did not want to deal with removing the monstrousity they had created?




Probably one of the seacil pipe sections...moving off to 'start life' on it's own.


Another long pipe section...
Wait a minute...these pipe sections mean that the seacils deposited on the seabed must have broken up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These pieces must have been washed ashore. So all may not be well for the project.








Another piece which may have broken up from the deposited seacils. Sigh.

The standard of execution is wanting.....actually it is embarassing that an institution of higher learning can justify (and continue to ignore calls to remedy the situation) the dumping of unwanted structures on the shores and filled with all kinds of plastic bits to break off. A generation of students is going to graduate with this in mind...that it is ok to do so. Sigh.

Some Questions :-
  1. What sort of planning was made?
  2. Who was involved in approving the project?
  3. Did the planning involve the use of the foreshore within the nature reserve to use as a construction site? Bear in mind that the foreshore area would have been heavily trampled on during the construction phase.
  4. Were experts consulted on the project and in particular the exact way in which the materials were going to be used and assembled (and abandoned)?
  5. Why were so many (up to 4 separate pieces are visible) structures abandoned on the shore?
  6. Was there any approval from the authorities that the structures could be abandoned?
  7. Is there any of the $145,000 left to handle the remediation of the foreshore due to the abandoned structures? If no, how was the $145,000 all spent?
  8. Despite knowing about the abandonment of the structures for so many months now (about 1.5 years in fact), are there any concrete (pun intended) plans to remove the concrete structures?

"Our Environmental Policy

(Since 19 May 2005)

[--] will protect, care for and continually improve our environment by complying with relevant legislation and requirements, and maintaining an effective Environmental Management System that enables us to create a cleaner and healthier environment for ourselves and future generations."


Well, this school is in likely already in breach of at least 2 legislative provisions in the Parks and Trees Act and the Environmental Public Health Act. Sigh.

Come on! Clean up your mess. It's about time. There is simply NO excuse to delay further.


links :-
http://wildfilms.blogspot.com/2007/12/labrador-nature-reserve-trashed.html
http://jus-dive.blogspot.com/2007/12/labrador-speaks-thousand-words.html
http://www.wildsingapore.com/news/20070910/071029-1.htm
http://wildfilms.blogspot.com/2007/10/debris-on-labrador-explained.html

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A 'remora'ble escape & an eel 'death-by-baking' @ Tanjung Berlayar - 16Dec2007

Another wonderful day at Labrador Park and it's great new park extension.

The video speaks for itself. The Remora was caught by rod much like the sign on the railing.


The video was shot at the Tanjung Berlayar lookout pier opposite Keppel Club.
As the sign shows, this is a no-fishing zone. Or rather 'was' since no one was paying any attention to the sign. At least the old chap who caught the remora threw it back into the water.

Perhaps this whole section of Labrador Park should be 'a no-fishing-zone'. i.e the part from the lookout pier to the mangrove channel (Berlayar Creek)
A recent cleanup saw many fishing lines with hooks caught on rocks (not to mention many other foreign objects - most probably left behind during the construction of the park extension and pier.)

There was a new species of eel found today as well. This species lives on trees and resembles sun-dried seafood. ... someone had caught an eel and tied it to the tree with some fishing line.



What a senseless waste of a living organism! ....the fisherman could have just thrown it back into the water if he did not want the eel.

Perhaps NParks could come up with a list of Dos and Don'ts for fishermen to follow...and there could also be more frequent friendly ranger patrols to educate the fishermen on the finer points of conserving the entire ecosystem and all the animals which play a part in the food chain.

*some links on the Remora :-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remora
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Remora_remora.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Remora.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/museumcataloging/remora.html
http://www.oceanlight.com/html/remora_sp.html