Jun 13, 2008

Our 2nd Tuas Seagrass Monitoring Session

Hi all Teamseagrass members, this is the first time Schering-Plough is uploading the blog. So please pardon us if there is any error or inconvenience caused.

On the 06 of Jun 2008, the Tuas Seagrass team set of on the 2nd monitoring session in Tuas. During the previous monitoring (about Dec 2007), the seagrass (spoon seagrass) were smaller and less dense. This time round they were bigger and seems to occupy a slightly bigger area. There were 11 members that day and most of them had experience with the monitoring thus Helen "abandoned" the team to do the job as she went towards the beacon to look for interesting stuff to show them after their monitoring. The species of seagrass that one would find in Tuas is the spoon seagrass (Halophilia ovalis). Thus it was pretty easy and most of the members took a very short moment to finish their job and very soon they were joining Helen at Merawang Beacon.

The first thing that caught the interest of one of the participants was this pinky thing among the sponges. It seems to be a sea cucumber but we are not sure. There were about 3-5 of them each about 10cm long.

(Oh while posting this Blog, someone informed Helen that it was a Synaptid sea cucumber)

There were lots of seafans and hydroids at this shore. The seafans looked like underwater flowers due to their colors and structures. While the participants were amazed by the display of this underwater garden, they were told to avoid contact with the hydroids. This is because hydroids is similar to jellyfish, they belong to the Phylum Cnidaria and would give you a nasty sting for days if you touch them. Thus we should try to avoid touching them and coming in contact with them by wearing long pants.

As the tide level rises quickly, very soon all of us had to go back to work. As we were proceeding back from the beacon, a few of us saw a stingray, a number of filefish and
this cute little boxfish.

Tuas's shoreline is really interesting and full of wonderful sea creatures. Hope we can protect the shores around us and educate the public that side effect of poaching and how we can preserve what we have now for our future generation.

Below are some abstracts from some of the comments by our colleagues.

“My first excursion beyond the fence-line of SP to the shore beyond was one of discovery.
Very fortunately we had the opportunity to walk to the rocky beacon just off the coast, braving thigh-high water. Amongst the creatures we saw were a small sting-ray, puffer fish, strange diamond shaped fish, and plenty of ‘Nemo’ anemones.
It was the perfect way to start my day.” By Komen, Raymond Paul, Quality Supervisor from Schering-Plough

“I never knew that there was a difference between seagrass and seaweed until I participated in my first seagrass monitoring project in the wee hours of the morning. Armed with much enthusiasm, I was delighted when I came up close and personal with a pink jelly fish, a spotted stingray, a baby puffer fish and an incredible variety (or what seems to me!) of corals…… This experience has heightened my awareness on the need to protect our marine life.” By Cheryl Teo, HR Manager

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