Mar 31, 2006

First step to create marine sanctuary on Pulau Hantu (?)

The Straits Times 31 Mar 06

CONSERVATIONISTS hoping to create a marine sanctuary on Pulau Hantu have embarked on the first step...

Plans are under way to create a simple sand filtration system to eliminate most of the sediment from the water flowing into the lagoon, creating a clear water habitat. The SEC's $100,000 census is the first phase of what it hopes will lead to the creation of a marine sanctuary nestled within the lagoon of Pulau Hantu...

Also speaking at the media conference, the president of the Nature Society of Singapore, Nominated Member of Parliament Geh Min, lauded the effort. She said a nation's 'true progress' is measured by how well it balances its natural heritage with industrial development. 'Project Noah is an attempt to show that we can have it all - a successful port, industries and nature.'

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"Natural heritage" ???!!!
Where??? What???

Sounds more like a giant aquarium tank...
I think I might already have a name for it though: Underwater World II (not in Sentosa, and likely to cost more than $19.50?)

Well... at least something is being done...
Effort: 100%
Imagination: 99%
Logic, science: ?

8 comments:

bluebabe said...

I wonder where all the sand filtered out from the water in the lagoon will go to.....

Papa Jeff said...

I have a ton of questions to ask, that are not answered in the newspaper article.

1. What is the science behind creating an artificial lagoon with corals in it when there are reefs fringing our islands, that deserve protection?

2. How will they enable a good flow of water within the lagoon? Given the excessive and rapid growth of algae in "still" waters, the challenge will be to keep the waters inside the lagoon algae-free.

3. What is the pumping system to draw water into the lagoon? Most seawater filtering systems (from my limited knowledge) will require some sort of infrastructure on site.

4. Who are the scientists training the volunteers, and what level of information is being gathered? NUS, NPaks and BWV have an exisiting monitoring programme in about 8 sites around the southern islands.

Just some thoughts in the wee hours of the morning.

Wai said...

Or as someone else has kindly dubbed it...the Nonsensical Outdoor Artificial Habitat?

shenjiaqing said...

CONSERVATIONISTS hoping to create a marine sanctuary on Pulau Hantu have embarked on the first step - taking an underwater census of the marine and coral life around the southern islet.

Who are the “conservationists” and why are there any conservationist who wanted to change the natural environment to build something that artificial?

The environmental stocktaking of about 32 sq km along the perimeter of Pulau Hantu begins in May and will involve up to 20 volunteer divers and almost 400 individual dives. It will take up to six months for divers to survey the area around Pulau Hantu, a popular haunt for campers and snorkelers about 15 minutes by speedboat south-east of Sentosa.

There are frequent surveys been done by volunteer groups such as Hantu Divers, wildfilm and NUS. Do you know how much time they spend in ‘doing surveys’ at hantu? Why extra work? Seek their advice because they definitely spend more time and know more than the short six months survey that whoever are going to do!

Explaining the importance of the census, Mr Sydney Chew, an avid diver who conceived the project, said: 'We need to know what we have before we know what to protect.' Mr Chew, 43, said he had 'dreamed of showcasing Singapore's rich marine biodiversity.'

My goodness! In this case, Sentosa underwater world has also showed the “rich marine biodiversity” in Singapore!

At a media conference yesterday, he appealed for volunteer divers and corporate sponsors. 'We hope that we can help shape the future of these reefs.' said the former president of the Singapore Underwater Federation.

While you are using the money to ‘conserve’ the ‘selected’ reef, the not selected reef is probably die from your ‘efforts’!

The divers, however, face a difficult task because of poor visibility caused by silt suspended in the water. It can be so bad that 'you have to bump into coral to notice them', said Project Noah manager Spencer Lewis.

Well, that must be a very inexperience diver with no sense of diver’s responsibilities!

Plans are under way to create a simple sand filtration system to eliminate most of the sediment from the water flowing into the lagoon, creating a clear water habitat.

In simple word, they need a big filter to clear the water of a huge aquarium.

The SEC's $100,000 census is the first phase of what it hopes will lead to the creation of a marine sanctuary nestled within the lagoon of Pulau Hantu.

Obviously you can use this 100K in a better way!
Whrere whill this money comes from? Government? Corporate?

Phases two and three will involve a similar census of other reefs scattered around Singapore and the long-term implementation of programmes to educate the public.

To educate the public that we need more aquarium and some more artificial things?

Mr Chew emphasised that 'the lagoon isn't just for divers', saying: 'It's for anyone who wants to get wet and enjoy our marine life.'

Will there be any diver wanted to dive in an aquarium? Hey, go to natural walk at Chek Jawa, Kusu and Semakau to enjoy the marine life without being a diver!

Also speaking at the media conference, the president of the Nature Society of Singapore, Nominated Member of Parliament Geh Min, lauded the effort. She said a nation's 'true progress' is measured by how well it balances its natural heritage with industrial development.

This is a very unique way to 'conserve' the natural heritage.
(Uniquely Singapore?)

Kevin said...

I am very very surprised that Dr Geh Min actually supported this enterprise.
becos my guess of what's going to happen finally is that it will become an
outdoor Underwater World. firstly the sand filtration thing to clear the sediment really means that the lagoon wld be no different from a fish tank. No other organisms can come in or out.. If they are so lucky to get them to reproduce, it will become a closed population and likely to collapse given time.
what's worse is that like setting up any marine tank, you are bound to have
failures. and coral relocation and transplantation have been carried out locally since ages ago, if there was great success it wld have been done in larger scale already. so when the corals die, i suspect they will jus get from the reefs fringing hantu. after all we are creating a clear water enviroment which has to be better for them. but there's a fallacy in the logic, the corals have adapted to survival in the fringing reefs, if they suddenly transplant them to a lagoon where the depth and light conditions are vastly different, those that do not adapt fast enough will die, so will the manager keep transplanting new corals from the fringing reefs? furthermore, the diversity of the corals actually changes with depth, i think it will be very optimistic for me to imagine SUF to take note of this while translocating the corals.
furthermore, the idea is to make it a dive spot. if we disregard the fact that the place is so shallow u hardly need to dive, if the human traffic is too much, it will affect the health of the corals as well...not to mention, since its artificial with no conduit to provide for fauna to enter and leave, the corals will lack the benefit of having a multi-level ecosystem. for e.g. nutrient cycling is very crucial in the sea as all the nutrients are diluted by the vast volume of water, by having the other organisms feed and reproduce and excrete near the corals, they are also helping the corals.
i shall end this with what i think an apt quote

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
- Horace Walpole

kilbunny said...

on a 'happier' note, if this oversized fish tank isn't able to keep its corals and fish happy (and alive), they can always come for reefwalk at kusu where the water is not contained, opening hours are irregular (and often inhuman) and visitors are not promised any sightings except the corals that can't move very much.
but seriously, our corals do much better if we just leave them alone. typical ego-centric humans to want to butt our noses into everything.

bluebabe said...

The minutes of the NOAH presentation at NSS' Conservation Chat are up! Go to http://www.bluewatervolunteers.org/reefnews.html

Cogito, Ergo Sum said...

A commercial venture, under the cloak of nature conservation...and it is not hard to hazard guesses at the players behind this movement in turning our remaining nature frontiers into "uniquely" singaporean places. Perhaps its ironic that the inherent nature of the proposal reflects reality - a sterilized ecosystem with a filtered environment and organisms trying to adapt and maximize survival with constraints and restrictions. Such ecosystems are difficult to control and liable to collapse even when efforts to maintain are consistent. Futuremore, how can we pit economic gains generated from building an artificial aquarium to the intangible loss of affections for our land in the current and future generations of Singaporeans? in the long run, we are benefitting the economy at the expense of patriotism and ownership to the country, not to mention civil consciousness of the society.