Mar 27, 2012

Tuas (27 Mar 2012)

The Merck volunteers are back out on the Tuas shore to monitor the seagrasses here! This wing of TeamSeagrass is led by Sheryl, who has been keeping this important work going for many years. Hurray!
The seagrasses are doing fine and we also saw some interesting marine life even though the tide wasn't very low.

Here's the team hard at work! In the distance is the green beacon, Merawang Beacon, which marks the start of the deep end of this Tuas shore, and Pulau Merambong which is part of Malaysia and has some awesome marine life.
Most of the seagrasses are found on the high shore, where they grow quite thick and lush.
The Tuas shore is dominated by Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) and they seem to be doing well, although most are thickly covered in epiphytes. I didn't see large areas of burnt or bleaching seagrasses.
In some parts, there is a dark hairy thing growing on the seagrasses, but not a lot of it.
The most abundant seaweed on the high shore seems to be Mermaids' fan (Padina sp.).
After the monitoring, the volunteers had a quick look around on this glorious blue sky day!
There are lots of Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) on this shore. And they are all doing quite fine!
These large animals come in various colours: blue, purple, green. We saw many of them. I didn't come across any that were bleaching.
I had a quick look in deeper water to see what the situation is like out there. But I only did the fringes of the shore and did not walk over to Merawang Beacon.
At the outer edge of the Tuas intertidal there is still a large band of Big coin green seaweed (Halimeda sp.) with many small clumps of other kinds of seaweeds. I didn't see any seagrasses here. There is a band of bare sand between the seagrasses on the high shore and this band of seaweeds.
During the quick walk I saw the usual suspects: sponges, Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis), sea fans, a swimming anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi), fan worms (Family Sabellidae) and lots of Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.) and Sea mat zoanthids (Palythoa tuberculosa).
Oh, an uprooted Common sea pen (Pteroides sp.).
We had a closer look at this strange colonial animal. Although we looked hard, we couldn't find any porcelain crabs living in it. I also didn't see any anemone shrimps in the anemones.
It's good to see that this shore seems to be doing fine. And well looked after by Sheryl and the volunteers of Merck. Bravo!

More about what I saw during this trip on the wild shores of singapore blog.

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