Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Coral garden on the reclaimed East Coast Park

This morning we decided to visit a new shore, something that we have not done for a long time! Thanks to Arjun and Ria, I found out about a potential spot with lots of corals and did a recce before today's survey.

Along the seawall, I was amazed to see thick growths of hard corals growing on a reclaimed shore! Such abundance is not even found in many of our natural reefs.

Some parts of the rock wall were so jammed packed with corals that made negotiating along the stretch difficult. Many of the corals are as huge about 30-50cm. 

Here's another shot of the crowded corals smacked next to each other. They include the Boulder Pore corals (Porites sp.), Disk coral (Turbinaria sp.) and Galaxy coral (Galaxea sp.). I'm glad that most corals are not undergoing bleaching.

From this photo, you can see that two of the most abundant hard corals are the Boulder Pore corals (Porites sp.) and Disk coral (Turbinaria sp.).

Here's a shot of different colonies of the Disk corals!

The Disk corals here can grow really huge, just like this colony that is "ruffled".

As for the Boulder Pore Corals, the ridges on the surface does resemble certain kinds of mountainous landforms. 

There were some small colonies of the Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) and this particular species look slightly different as compared to the ones we see on the southern shores. It looks more "branched" with the "base" encrusted on the rock. 

Other types of hard corals encountered include the Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.), Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.), one Brain coral (Family Mussidae) and a small colony of Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.).

It is heartening to see many small coral bits growing and colonising the remaining parts of the rock surface.

Jianlin and I came across some of the coral reef associates such as this Red egg crab (Atergatis integerrimus).

Jianlin spotted this Reef murex (Chicoreus sp.) which is usually found on boulders, rocks and hard surfaces. This snail can drill through shells to predate on other molluscs.

Jianlin also found an Arabian cowrie (Cypraea arabica)! This cowrie is usually only found on reefs. I saw another two later on.

I came across this fish resting in one of the pools in between the rocks. Not too sure what it is though.

I also saw this octopus that was not exactly active. Jianlin and Ria also saw more!

As the stretch of corals is longer than I expected, I didn't get to cover the entire length and will look forward to revisit this shore again!

Other than the reefy parts, there are also good representation of seagrasses such as the Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.). They can be quite thick at certain areas!

Among the needle seagrasses are also the Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis).

I also came across a small patch of sandy shore with a clump of Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) and many other Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni).

The sunrise from the east signifies the end of the predawn exploration. Our shores are quite splendid and many of which still undiscovered!

1 comment:

Crystle said...

Hi I think the fish is a blue lined grouper (Cephalopholis formosa). Thanks for the great photos!

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