29 October 2009

3Rs Website


Sorry for not updating for a long time. I had been really busy with schoolwork. But since the PSLE is over, now, I have lots of free time! Recently, our school organised a website designing competition about the 3Rs ( Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) . Though this has very little to do with marine life, but I feel that even though these two subjects are not really related closely, pollution of the Earth will affect everything. Thus, the 3Rs will still be able to help us conserve the oceans.

So basically, this website would be about what the 3Rs are, why do we need to recycle, how can we recycle and our school's efforts for the different years. After we were done making the site (using http://www.weebly.com/ ), we were to post it onto a forum page and our classmates could vote for the best site.

My website( http://littlegreenplanet.weebly.com/ ) actually emerged as one of those which had the most votes, so my Science teacher wanted me to present it to the class, along with a few other students whose websites were one of those which had the most votes. Through the various presentations, I found out a lot more about the 3Rs, and many interesting facts about the Earth as well.

I feel that my own site is relatively simple and does not contain very detailed or specific information. In my opinion, this site, http://chiaxinyi.weebly.com/, done by a friend, is better than mine. ((:

Her site is chock full of information and has many suggestions on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Do visit her site if you can! It's really amazing. ((:

Every small effort counts. For example, if everyone saves one litre of water a day, in one day, about 7 billion litres of water can be saved! So, no matter how small the effort you think it is, it still plays a part in saving Earth!


15 October 2009

Scientists back law to limit farm runoff to Great Barrier Reef

SCIENTISTS have backed the Queensland government's crackdown on farm runoffs to the Great Barrier Reef, describing new laws to limit the chemicals on sugar crops and pastures as "the right answer".

Conservation groups have swung behind the measures, after producer organisations and individual farmers branded them unnecessary and a sop to the green lobby.

Judy Stewart, managing director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, a think tank that funds research into the impact of climate change and other threats to the reef, said the increased nutrient levels associated with agricultural runoff had been identified as the biggest threat to the corals after global warming.

"It's the right answer," Ms Stewart said of the law requiring farmers and graziers to use only the optimum amount of fertilisers and pesticides.

"The state is taking its responsibility to the reef very seriously ... I think we have to do everything we can."

Marine scientists have warned that vast sections of the reef are threatened by the coral bleaching associated with rising sea temperatures caused by climate change.

The laws, to come into effect on January 1, have been heralded as "historic" by the Queensland government.

A spokesman for Queensland Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones hit back at claims by the Canegrowers and AgForce producer groups that the new laws were unnecessary because most farmers were already cautious about using chemicals because of their expense, and out of a sense of responsibility to the environment.

But Ms Jones's spokesman pointed out that high concentrations of the nutrients associated with fertiliser runoff were being detected up to 50kmoffshore.

Nick Heath, of WWF Australia, said it was disappointing the sugar industry was resisting the laws. "We hoped they'd represent the progressive farmers rather than those who want to keep farming the way they always have," Mr Heath said.

Separately, Queensland has announced that coral reef fish species will be off-limits for fishing for a few days this month and in November to allow for spawning time.

The state government has this year introduced a new policy of two five-day closures to allow the reef fish stocks to rebuild.

The closures will run from October 15 to 19 and November 14 to 18, which scientists say are the peak periods for spawning.

I think that this is a good law to implement as it would aid in the conservation of the reefs. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's greatest natural structures, and if we want to preserve it and other such structures, governments also have to take action and implement laws to protect them from further destruction.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26196453-30417,00.html

27 June 2009

27 June 09: Changi Beach

We went to Changi Beach for an intertidal walk on 27 June. To our surprise, we saw many interesting marine life. The seabeds were exposed during the low tide.

The beach was very serene.

I was busy looking for marine life.

We noticed 3 sea cucumbers lying beside each other.

This sea cucumber is secreting a fluid.

We also saw several sea cucumbers with red thorns on them.

In addition, we also noticed many sea anemones. Here are some of them:

We are not sure what this is, but based on our research, we think that it is a mushroom anemone as they are similar in shape.

We think that this is a sea anemone, but we are unable to determine its identity as of yet.

We even found starfish there!

We also saw a seahorse. It was stuck in a dry spot, so we had to put it back in the water.

Several large shells were also spotted.

We even found a crab with barnacles growing on it.

Another type of crab. This one has elongated claws.

We also found a very large hermit crab.

This is a crab moult.

We even spotted a pipefish!

We also saw many sand dollars.

These are casts left by acorn worms.

There were also many tiny sand balls. They are made when crabs pass sand through their mouths for food., leaving behind these sand balls.
Are you surprised with the rich marine life at Changi Beach? Why not check the next low tide and make a trip there? Tide tables can be found at http://app.nea.gov.sg/cms/htdocs/article.asp?pid=2293

25 June 2009

KUANTAN: Hermit Crabs

My family went to Kuantan, Malaysia recently. There were many hermit crabs at the shore.

This boy was catching the hermit crabs for fun and he wanted to take them back. He shouldn't be doing that because this will deprive the hermit crabs of their natural habitat and the hermit crabs may die. The next time you are at the beach, I strongly encourage you not to do this.

Small crabs feed on particles in the sand, processing sand into small balls.

31 May 2009

Satellite data on flourescence of marine plants helps evaluate global warming

Researchers from Oregon State University, NASA and other orgnaisations said today that they have succedded for the first time in measuring the physiology of marine phytoplankon through satelite measurements of its flourescence.

With this new tool and the continued use of the MODIS Aqua satellite, scientists will now be able to gain a reasonably accurate picture of the ocean's health and productivity about every week, all over the planet.Data such as this will be critically important in evaluating the effect on oceans of global warming, climate change, desertification and other changes, the researchers said. It will also be a key to determining which areas of the ocean are limited in their productivity by iron deficiency.

26 April 2009

The Coral Triangle

The Coral Triangle is a region , covering over 6 million square kilometres, that holds the greatest number of corals, sponges, crustaceans, molluscs and fish on this planet. There are over 600 types of coral, 3000 species of fish, sea turtles, whales, and dolphins. It is now known as the global centre for marine diversity.

Millions of people who depend on tourism and fishing for their livelihoods also live along the shores of the Coral Triangle. Coastal development, over-fishing, and other activities caused by man are threatening this area. I hope that these harmful activities will cease to happen and that the Coral Triangle will be here for future generations to admire.

Recenty, 6 Asia-Pacific countries signed a plan to save the most important area of coral reef in theCoral traingle http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8051709.stm

26 February 2009

Fish with transparent head

A Pacific Barreleye fish was discovered alive in the deep waters off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). It is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact. 

The beady bits on the front of the Pacific barreleye fish aren't eyes but smell organs. The eyes are beneath the green domes, which may filter light. In this picture the eyes are pointing upward--to see prey above in the darkness of the barreleye's deep-sea home.  By watching live fish from a remotely operated vehicle and by bringing a barreleye to an aquarium for a study, the scientists discovered that the eyes can pivot, like a birdwatcher pointing a pair of binoculars.  The barreleye lives more than 2,000 feet (600 meters) beneath the ocean's surface, where there is little light.

04 February 2009

"Immortal" Jellyfish Swarm World's Oceans

I found another article on the National Geographic website today. The article is very interesting, as it talks about a potentially "Immortal" species of jellyfish.

I feel that if this species of jellyfish continues to multiply, this might mean trouble for the oceans, as there will be too many of this species. Apparently, they are able to transform from an adult back to a baby, and they are able to do it not only once, but over and over again! However, this is only an emergency measure.

There are specimens of these jellyfish all around the world, however, in different areas, they take different forms. Swarms living in the tropical waters have 8 tentacles, while those in temperate regions have 24 tentacles or more.
As interesting as these creatures are, I hope that they will not spread too fast to disrupt the ocean's ecosystem, as that would be disastrous. A problem like that would be difficult to solve.

28 December 2008

Southern Line Islands Expedition

Recently, I found an article on the National Geographic website about the Southern Line Islands Expeditions. What is this project about? Well, participants in this project study the ecology of healthy coral reefs, in hope to learn valuable clues that will help save the world's reefs.

In February and March 2009, the Southern Line Islands Expedition will travel to remote central-Pacific islands like Flint, Vostok and Malden to continue the reef studies done in the Northern Line Islands in 2005 and 2007.

I hope that the project will be a success and the participants will find new ways to save the coral reefs.

You can read more on: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/projects/line-islands.html

25 December 2008

28 Dec: Chek Jawa Boardwalk

The Naked Hermit Crabs will be organizing a boardwalk at Chek Jawa on 28 December. If you have the time, do go for the boardwalk as it is very interesting and you will get to see many different types of wildlife.

Time: 3 p.m.

Venue: Meet at Chek Jawa Information Kiosk

Duration of walk: 2 hours

To find out more, visit: http://nakedhermitcrabs.blogspot.com/

17 December 2008

12 Dec: Sentosa Shore Walk

On 12 December, we went to Sentosa for a shore walk. Here are some interesting things we saw during the walk:

This is a coral skeleton.

Look at this mosiac crab!

Here is the flag used by the Naked Hermit Crabs to mark a spot where there are things for us to see.

Look at this gigantic tire! Although it is a piece of rubbish in the sea, there are wildlife growing on it!

This is a swimming crab. 

Can you spot the hairy crab?

This is the flower of the tape seagrass. We also saw the fruit!

This is a polka-dotted nudibranch. Isn't it pretty?

Corals!!! :)

At the site where we had the walk,the water was amazingly clear and we could see the marine life clearly in the water. I did not expect to see so many different types of marine life, and hope that people will stop polluting the seas so that we will be able to conserve these animals and plants.