Monday, January 7, 2008

Chek Jawa's Great Fishnet Graveyard

Clearing of fish nets at Chek Jawa. These are nets which have been left behind by former kampung residents or by fishermen or both. A Quick estimate : about 20 nets (at least) within a 50m stretch of intertidal. Bear in mind that most of these nets are themselves over 25metres long...some over 50 metres! All curled up and stuck in the mud, mangrove tree roots etc. Some of the nets already have thriving colonisers and we therefore leave them as as not to disrupt the dependant organisms.

Abandoned nets continue to trap and kill indiscriminately reducing the biodiversity of the area. Commercially valuable species such as the Horseshoe crab frequently find themselves caught and soon starve to death. In other parts of the world, such nets have caused the deaths of larger animals such as dugongs. See

Short clip of some of the team doing their best early in the clean-up...before the mud, and slime, and other stuff got to us. One of the group even forgot to bring a change of clothes...he brought back some of the mud with him. Things got a bit too much muddy with mud flying all over (we all had some fly into our mouths! - bleah). Point to note : Keep mouth shut when messing about with abandoned nets!

In the meantime, Sekudu had some unscheduled visitors...
...there were some chaps who decided to fish in the *Chek Jawa Wetlands area ...


... and also some canoeists and sailors ...

... (SZ18709D) ...

... and a pair of noisy jetskis ...

...and also Mr Regular Poacher who could be seen dragging behind him a basket of some kind. Possibly filled with clams or mussels. Who knows what else he made off with? Imagine the destruction he would have caused by dragging his basket all over the intertidal, back and forth, to and fro, back and forth....

The CJ Wetlands area was notified to the marine community on 15 Aug 2007.
The following is an extract of that notification issued by NParks :-


With effect from 15 Aug 2007, the area bounded by the following coordinates is designated as “Chek Jawa Wetlands” and is managed by the National Parks Board (NParks), under the Parks and Trees Act 2005 and the Parks and Trees Regulations 2005:

WGS 84 Datum

Point Latitude (N) Longitude (E) Description

1 01°25.109¢ 103°59.316¢ Tanjong Balai, Pulau Ubin

2 01°24.700¢ 104°00.000¢ Chek Jawa Wetlands Buoy

3 01°24.102¢ 103°59.338¢ Malang Papan Beacon

4 01°24.420¢ 103°58.600¢ Sungei Saban, Pulau Ubin

2 Chek Jawa Wetlands is a nature conservation area and the community is advised to observe the provisions of Parks and Trees Act 2005 and the Parks and Trees Regulations 2005. In particular, except where a permit has been obtained, the following regulations are to be observed by crew and passengers of all vessels:

i. No vessel or craft shall enter or remain in Chek Jawa Wetlands.

ii. No vessel or craft shall berth or moor at the jetty or floating pontoon or any other structure within Chek Jawa Wetlands.

iii. No vessel or craft shall land at Pulau Sekudu or anywhere within Chek Jawa Wetlands.

iv. There shall be no collection of any organism (including remains of an organism) or use of rods, lines, hooks, nets and traps within Chek Jawa Wetlands.

v. No person shall swim, bathe, snorkel or scuba dive within Chek Jawa Wetlands.

The irony of it all was that the Police Coast Guard boat was not far away bobbing up and down in the channel between CJ and Tekong. Whose job is it to monitor our coastal areas? If the coast guard does not pay attention, then who will?

Dear sailors and canoeists, please don't use Sekudu as your playground.

Dear Mr Fishermen, lain kali tidak boleh pancing di sana.

Dear Mr Poacher....your days are numbered.

Dear Mr Coast Guard, please take an active part to deter unscheduled visitors to Pulau Sekudu. Thank you!
Further links :
a more detailed look at the size of the net problem....sigh. The fishing industry should be embarassed with this kind of dumping behaviour!
Read abotu Ghost Traps and the damage that they do.

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