Nov 8, 2010

Cyrene Reef (7 Nov 10)

It's time to monitor Cyrene Reef once again!
On a cloudy day with rain threatening, we arrive a little early. The tide is still high and hardly anything of the 1km long submerged reef sticking out of the water.

I'm doing Site 2 which is quite a hike away from the arrival point.
Today my transect seems a little bare. And the seagrass blades are all broken off and very short.
Oo, a bristleworm is in my transect. We mustn't touch these as the bristles can irritate bare skin.
After I've done my line, I head off to have a look around and see how the seagrasses are doing.

Oh dear, on some parts of the shore nearer the water's edge, some fine hairy stuff is still growing on and among the seagrasses, as we have observed during an August trip to Cyrene.
Here's more of the fine hairy stuff growing on Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis).
Here's some Noodle seagrass (Syringodium isoetifolium) with the hairy stuff on them.
Most of the Tape seagrass blades (Enhalus acoroides) were broken off very close to the sand surface.
Here's another look at the situation. In fact, in the lagoon where Collin does his survey of pipefishes, there is virtually no more seagrasses. Previously the lagoon was thick with Tape seagrasses.
On some parts of the shore, there was a layer of fine scummy stuff with lots of air bubbles trapped in them. I had noticed this already during our previous Cyrene monitoring in July.
A closer look at the scummy layer.
It frighteningly reminds me the scummy layer I see on the shores at Tanah Merah that have been hit by the oil spill.

The Team at Site 1 also felt the seagrasses there were not as lush as usual.

Well, this is why it's important to monitor our seagrasses. I do hope the situation is only temporary.

But all is not lost. Cyrene is still full of amazing marine life!
More about other aspects of Cyrene seen on this trip on the wild shores of singapore blog.

It was good to have with us on this trip: Siti, Terry, Joo Yong, Chay Hoon, Nor Aishah, Yen Ling, Gao Xiao and Andy.

Thanks to Robin and Collin for taking the GPS readings for Site 2, and to Wei Ling for preparing everything as usual even though she couldn't join us. And we missed Shufen though she was also out at Cyrene helping out with NParks.

More about Cyrene Reef.

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