Aug 19, 2006

A tribute to Singapore's coral reefs. PART 2 (Another Appendix)

This post is inspired by Hawaii's designation as a marine reserve, and a little by "Diving in Singapore: A tribute part II" at The Blue Tempeh.

I'm back in Hawaii again... but this time I'm not going to dive, because I don't think the diversity is worth my cash (and I'm broke anyway...). I've learnt my lesson...

But it doesn't hurt to snorkel, and so I did, every other day here at Coconut Island where I'm attending a workshop. As expected, water is somewhat clear, with vis about 15m. Mind you this is snorkelling near shore... In Singapore, if there's a place you can snorkel and see the benthos from the surface, I'd be very surprised... of course this excludes your fish tank and Underwater World.

This time I was initially quite happy cos this time, it's reef I'm looking at, not some wreck with near-zero coral cover... So I see Pocillopora damicornis (present in Singapore too)...














Then there's this one, Montipora capitata (range extends to Singapore)...














And then there's Porites compressa...














This one is pretty cool, cos its endemic to this area... But then, the whole island seems to be just that, and that's it! Everywhere else I've looked is so homogenous, it's scary... Then I recalled Singapore's reefs... Let's see it again...






















Wow... I'm so missing Singapore reefs...

I had said this previously, "So I was thinking, if the Hawaii state government decides to reclaim land and cover their reefs, say hypothetically land is limited... maybe just the one shown above, what would the response be? Not pretty... people all over the world would probably make noise... "

Well, this didn't happen. But the opposite did... Northwestern Hawaiian Islands went under US environmental protection in June, becoming the world's biggest protected marine reserve... stretching 2,250 km and covering 362,600 sq km. That is an awful lot of land! And what? There's less than 50 species of hard corals there???!!!

Hey!!! Singapore has almost 200 species!!! And we can't even hold off destruction of the reef at Pulau Ular... Is it that hard to confer protection to just a small little offshore island? Like Pulau Hantu is only 12.2ha... The potential for ecotourism is so great... I mean, suckers like me would pay US$103.12 to attempt to see 50 species of corals (I saw only 2 btw...), I'm quite sure there are people who are craving to see 4 times that diversity in Singapore (it's actually more, cos diversity is probably thousands of times greater if we account for area)... Perhaps with some clearer waters... If only we could halt or slow down coastal development and reclamation in Singapore...

Sigh... I wonder when decision-makers up there will become as proud as nature lovers in Singapore of the wealth of marine life here...

2 comments:

ekomc said...

Hi,
To help raise awareness, i was hoping to do a project with my students on marine life/ coral reefs and weather. I'd be very glad if you could give me any ideas on how I could get the data on diminishing coral reefs area in singapore..

John said...

I was looking for some Viagra Prescription pills, but this topic its so important that deserves the time to tell that if we continued with our way of living, pretty soon there will be no more planet left.