21 September 2008

New Species Discovered On Aussie Reefs

Did you read the article on The Straits Times yesterday 20 Sep 08? Marine scientists said that they have discovered hundreds of new animal species on Ausse reefs (Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef). This is a wonderful achievement and I was thrilled with the pictures taken. When I was at Ninglaoo Reef in June 2008, this discovery was not known yet. Anway, I hope that when I next visit Ningaloo Reef, I have the opportunity to view some of the new species :)

I like this twisted nudibranch, (Chromodoris Elizabethina), on the reef face off Heron Island most. It is very bright and colourful.

About half of the 300 soft corals found are thought to be new discoveries, although they will only be given names and classified formally once the scientists have compared them against existing species. Unlike their hard-bodied cousins, soft corals do not build reefs but are nevertheless considered vital for the marine environment. These colourful animals can dominate some regions of the sea, covering up to 25 per cent of the ocean floor.

The latest discovery is a result of a four-year project centred on the extensive coral reefs of western and north-western Australia and is part of a larger effort to take a census of all marine life in the world, due to be finished in 2010. When complete, the census will be used as a "baseline" to try to quantify the rate at which species are becoming extinct in the marine environment. Coral reefs are considered to be the rainforests of the sea because of their rich biodiversity. It is estimated that something between one million and nine million species of marine creatures live in and around coral reefs, but scientists have little idea of the precise numbers.

Here is a dendronepthya soft coral

ans a colonial salp jellyfish

and a ctenophore or comb jellyfish

You can see more pictures on http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2008/sep/18/wildlife.australia?picture=337754721

19 September 2008

4 Oct: "Secret Shores of Singapore" Talk at Sungei Buloh

My mum informed me of this talk which will be held on 4 Oct 08 by Ria Tan. She will share on the "Secret Shores of Singapore" through 300-600 recent photos and stories of adventures and discoveries on our living shores. From Changi to Tuas, Sentosa to the Sisters Islands and beyond. Nemos, sea snakes, living corals and more. Ria will also share about some of the threats to our shores, and the many ways ORDINARY PEOPLE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE about our little-known shores. I am sure we can learn from her as she is an ordinary person too.

I know your exams are coming, but if you can steal some time from your revisions, I encourage you to attend.

Time: 10.30am-12noon

Venue: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Contact: info@sbwr.org.sg or call 6794 1401

11 September 2008

Make Singapore a Coral Haven

This newspaper article is extracted from My Paper published on 10 Sep 08. In the "Blue Plan" proposed by a group of marine conservationists, 10% of the reefs in Singapore should be turned into sanctuaries. These could be categorised into "no-go zones", where access is granted only for scientific purposes. Other areas with limited acess could be allowed, or opened under proper management. I strongly support this movement as it will help in the conservation of the marine life here.You can read more about coral reefs in Singapore at http://coralreef.nus.edu.sg/

07 September 2008

Is West Coast Park's Beach a Rubbish Dump?

We went to West Coast Park and were expecting nice scenery along the beach, perhaps even a reef. However, to our horror, this was what we saw...

There was a lot of rubbish scattered along the shoreline, especially water bottles!

We can't even imagine ourselves living in this sort of environment. How about the marine life? This scene looks very bad on the supposedly "tranquil" West Coast Park! We appeal to all of you to do your part, not to litter and help to clean up the coast. The International Coastal Clean-up is coming. Do your part. See

We should also learn some lessons from the Japanese, as they are planning the largest clean up event. See