Friday, 12 August 2016

Happy National Day from the Sisters' Islands Marine Park!

This National Day, enthusiastic visitors, volunteers and NParks staff gathered to celebrate at Singapore's first marine park! Divers at the Marine Park also celebrated with wild dolphins!
Photo by Ian Siah on facebook.
Alas, the Marine Park (and other Singapore reefs) continue to suffer from global mass coral bleaching.

Wild dolphins!

The best news: wild dolphins! Volunteers and staff diving at the Marine Park encountered them on 6 Aug! And even better news, there were other sightings of wild dolphins recently. Near St John's Island, and also inside a container port bay. The sighting was shared by master of the tug Joseph Chng and psa pilot Mr Zulei, who both delayed the container ship swing to allow the dolphins to swim clear of the propellors.
Photo shared by Stephen Beng on facebook.
Featured as a great dive spot!

Could Singapore be the surprising destination of Asia’s Best Dive? says Karen Wong in Voices on 19 Jul 2016. She adds "Singapore has built its name for its glittering cityscapes. It’s time the world got to know a side of this mighty city-state previously unseen, and the true treasure that lies beneath."

More seriously, featured in The Climate Action Plan for Singapore

The Sisters Islands Marine Park is mentioned in The Climate Action Plan for Singapore. "To protect Singapore’s marine biodiversity, NParks established Singapore’s first marine park at the Sisters’ Islands in 2014. The marine park is an ecosystem inhabited by rare and endangered marine animals. Other measures to protect Singapore’s biodiversity include restoring mangrove areas in Singapore."
Among some of the actions taken is monitoring of sea surface temperatures at the Marine Park. Here's more about the Plan.

National Day intertidal trips

Led by volunteers and staff, visitors had a glimpse of the intertidal biodiversity at the Marine Park on the National Day weekend. Everyone had a great time getting to know the amazing plants and animals that you can see at low tide.
Photo by Shiow Lin Huong on facebook.
The trips are perfect for the whole family!
Photo by Adriane Lee on facebook.
There were also trips in July: Wah! Nice new signs at the Marine Park!
Photo by Pedro Shiu on facebook.
A great backdrop of the group photo!
Photo by Kelly Tan on facebook.
Here's some of the wonderful volunteers and staff who make these trips possible.
Photo by Richard Kuah on facebook.
Huge collision, no oil spill

The Marine Park also escaped unscathed following a collision between a Very Large Crude Carrier collided with a container ship on 3 Aug 2016 "about 3 km South-East of Sebarok Island". Fortunately, no injuries or oil pollution was reported. The collision would have have broken a long safety record if the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) spilled its full load of crude (320,000 dwt) assessed an expert in the tanker industry.
From the wild shores of singapore blog.

Sadly, the Marine Park continues to experience mass coral bleaching

In previous media articles, NParks explained how they hoped to deal with coral bleaching on Singapore's shores. Sadly, mass coral bleaching first observed in June, continues on Big Sister Island. Recent volunteer surveys show extensive mass coral bleaching on many other shores.
Photo by Shiow Lin Huong on facebook.
Bleaching is also happening on the western subtidal shore of St John's Island which is part of the Marine Park.
Bleaching sea anemone at western St John's Island.
Photo by Yujie Zheng on facebook.
Despite these impacts, great hope remains for the Marine Park under the care of volunteers and staff of NParks and the great support of many who love the Marine Park. Symbolised by this rainbow taken on National Day at the Marine Park, by Dr Karenne Tun who leads the NParks team looking after the Marine Park.
Photo by Karenne Tun on facebook.

MORE about the Marine Park

Catch up with all the happenings at the Marine Park through the Sisters' Islands Marine Park facebook page. You can share your encounters, ideas and thoughts for the Marine Park here.

Photos in this blog post are from those who shared on this facebook page. Thank you!

More about guided walks at the Sisters' Islands Marine Park on the NParks website.

More about what to expect at a guided walk.

Why should I visit with an experienced and trained guide? Why are places limited on a public walk? Which other shores are accessible to the public? and more in this wildsingapore page.

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