Our final survey for this season of low spring tide would be to check out the coral bleaching at Terumbu Semakau, a patch reef off Semakau Landfill.
I came across this patch of Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) during Christmas last year and checked them out again on this trip. All of them are now looking pale which is a result of photosynthetic algae leaving the coral colonies.
mass coral bleaching in 2010 and the photo above was also from Terumbu Semakau. It took a few months for recovery to take place.
Leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae).
Pizza anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum).
Magnificent sea anemones (Heteractis magnifica) seem to be alright. I didn't see any of these anemones bleaching.
Merten's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii). The Merten's carpet anemone has shorter tentacles that densely cover the oral disk. It also has colourful bumps on its body column.
Bubble tip sea anemones (Entacmea quadricolor) are usually badly affected by bleaching events. All of those that I saw were badly bleached.
Tomato anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus). And it's quite sad if these bleached sea anemones die off because that would be the nemos would lose their home.
Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa) that the team found previously. It looks fine and is not bleaching.
Banded file snake (Acrochordus granulatus) is usually sighted at or near Semakau. Surprisingly, some of them tend to be covered with algae. Not too sure why.
Let's hope that the coral bleaching will end soon. Some of the corals are already dying or dead and we do wish for speedy recovery!
More photos of the trip can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154339767383158.1073741919.547198157&type=1&l=f2ba83ba54