Dec 7, 2010

Cyrene Reef (6 Dec 10)

It's our last seagrass monitoring for 2010 and a small team heads out for Cyrene yesterday under cloudy skies.

We very quickly got to work under threatening skies. I did the further away Site 2. Here's Jim and Yen-Ling working hard on the last transect on the furthest site on Cyrene.
Alas, the seagrasses don't seem to be doing too well. On some parts of the shore, the tips of seagrass blades of all species were blackened.
A closer look at the blackened and burnt tips of the seagrasses.
Many of the Tape seagrasses (Enhalus acoroides) were not only burnt but seemed to be losing their green colour, leaving pale beige blades that seem to be rotting away. On a positive note, I didn't come across large stretches of the fuzzy stuff that we saw on Pulau Semakau the day before and which I saw on Cyrene the month before.
The big pool where Collin does his fish survey and pipefish tagging is bare of Tape seagrass!
Below is what the pool usually looks like. OK, not really obvious in the photo, but the Tape seagrasses are usually so long that the pool looks like a bowl of flat green noodles. You can see some of the long seagrass blades in the lower left corner of the photo.
Learning more about the fishes of Cyrene
Although all the Tape seagrasses appear chomped off, the other seagrass species were still plentiful and seemed to be doing alright. In the photo below, clumps of Noodle seagrass (Syringodium isoetifolium) in the pipefish pool. I looked for and found all the species usually seen on Cyrene, but I couldn't find the patch of Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymododea rotundata).
Despite the rather sorry state of the seagrasses, Cyrene is still full of surprises and amazing marine life! We snatch a quick look after we are done with the seagrass monitoring.
It drizzled a bit but we were glad the trip was mostly dry. For a brief moment, there was a rainbow over the container terminals, seen here from the large boulder corals on Cyrene.
The wet weather around us made for a spectacular sunset. Andy took a lovely group photo of us with the sunset.
We linger until the very last moment of sunset before heading back. The lights at the surrounding industrial plants and container terminals are already on! As usual, Jumari and Thai make sure we get safely back onto the boat for our ride back to the mainland.
Let's hope the seagrasses at Cyrene (and at Semakau) will recover to their usual glory. This is why it's important to monitor our seagrasses!

The team out for this trip were Kok Sheng, Jim, Jonathan, Andy, Yen-Ling, Joo Yong, Gao Xiao and Yunfeng.

Other posts about this trip by:
  • Andy - our group photo!
  • Ria - some strange snails and a Sand diver!
  • Kok Sheng - anemone explosion and MORE marvellous finds.

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