Sunday, December 30, 2007

Current state of Labrador Park

Tanjong Rimau, Sentosa is one of the last remaining natural shores that can be publicly accessed and Naked Hermit Crabs also do guided walks to share its beauty with others.

Ironically and sadly, though Labrador is one of the lucky four nature reserve and should of course garner more care, its intertidal shore is surrounded with a lot of negative impacts.

The works done off the coast are extensive and large in scale.

These ships hug the coast of Labrador shore in numbers.

I believe all of us who are updated in blog entries would have know about the issues raised regarding the seacil project and also the cofferdam and their respective thrash left behind. Red dot blog also shows much of these impacts and also shared that the cofferdam has recently been in the process of being taken down. Therefore, I decided to check Labrador shore out myself to see if all these impacts are true before my own eyes.

Walking down the shore, there were still good growths of spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis).

But very soon, much of the thrash began to cover the landscape.

See it yourself.

The waters are really dirty and the whole place near the cofferdam is badly littered.

More litters at the cofferdam area.

There is this patch just at where the cofferdam used to be and the whole surrounding is like a coral graveyard. I'm saddened to see it.

The coastal cliff of Labrador Park shows history of bad landslides.

And it seems that the fallen logs were cut and left on the shore.

Another unusual phenonmenon will be these thick masses of sargassum seaweed attached on to a rock-like thing which can be concrete or dead coral. This is not the only one, they were many more of such. Was the seabed disturbed which led to these being floated to the intertidal area?

All the above photos shows my own observation of the stresses the marine environment has to tolerate against. I also tried to find as much of life in Labrador as possible which can be found below.

For all of my blogposts regarding nature, I have the luxury to select the bests of creatures to feature in the blog. However, I cannot find much life from this particular trip, so below are almost all of the marine organisms I managed to see.

Other than the mermaid's fan (Padina sp.), I managed to also find coin seaweed (Halimeda tuna).

For unknown reason, what used to be very common in Labrador I only found once for this trip. This sea grape seaweed (Caulerpa lentillifera) looks like a bunch of grapes but I only saw very little of these seaweed.

These are the few sponges that managed to survive the highly sedimented waters. I recall the Labrador waters wasn't so murked up as like for this trip.

This is a heartening sight of brittlestars still living in the crevices and holes of this sponge.

There were still mats of zoathids found littered on the grounds and rocks.

This species of zoathids looks more anemone-like.

Another type of zoathids that live in a colony on this boulder.

Also found are orange nerites, sea squirt, and two shy crabs that hid from my camera flash.

Colonial tunicate looks like slimy mud on rocks.

There were also a couple of this shorebird feeding on fishes which I have no idea of its id.

Usually these shells are found with hermit crabs, but this one is still alive.

I'm glad to still find mudskippers at the muddy parts of the shore.

This Branched-tentacle sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.) has retracted as it was exposed to air during the low tide period.

This is the most "special" find of the day for me. Quite weird for a special find, but I couldn't find anything more special in my opinion. This is a wandering cowrie that has a pretty shell. Unfortunately, they tend to be overcollected.

For a moment, it was good to still see the spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis), tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) and the sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) together.

The placement of the seacil equipment however disturbed them.

I couldn't see any thing growing on these equipments. Surrounding them are pieces of stuffs including again a bunch of sargassum seaweed attached to a fragmented piece of rock.

Searching hard at the seagrass patches, I was glad to find this small piece of soft coral.

And this small boulder of hard coral (Porites sp.), which was one of the 3 small corals I've found at the vicinity for the whole trip which might reveal that corals are probably getting fewer.

But, if we give the marine environment a chance to recover by removing away the negative stresses, I believe the shore of Labrador park will recover and thrive like before. Chek Jawa is recovering well from the mass death as National Parks Board is doing a great job by ensuring no one can go down the shore except for authorized purposes and that no boat can enter the vicinity waters off Chek Jawa. Does that mean we have to lock up Labrador shore too to save it?

We as Singaporeans are stakeholders of these nature areas. As what Prof Peter Ng said in his Natural Heritage of Singapore lecture in NUS, why will we want to conserve for something we have no access to? But the issue is can we then take good care of it if we have the access to enjoy it?

Personally I have nothing against the seacil project for the objective is supposed to improve the marine life of the shores and the waters off Labrador which has good intentions. However, what made me felt uncomfortable is that they ignored our queries, for example, of the equipments that were left not taken care of on the shore.

Yes we as non-divers only can give comments on the intertidal area and from a limited point of view. And thus, all the more we should get a clearer picture of what is happening from the seacil project personnels. I hope that they will one day clear up doubts. Same too for the unexplained tons of rubbish near the cofferdam.

In all, can we Singaporeans also give our very own last rocky shore a chance to survive?


peizee said...

ouch. really pains to see all this thrash on the shore. y haven't they replied the enquiries yet.. grr

Unknown said...

I have no idea why there's no replies. Sigh

Unknown said...

hi I went to Labrador park last week, you check , they already clean & restore the place.. check my photos..

Unknown said...

Hi Alvin,

Thanks for the update. You take nice artistic photos! Glad to hear from you that Labrador Park is restored and cleaned up.

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