Thursday, June 13, 2013

Southern Expedition in the news

A slideshow of some happenings at the Southern Expedition is featured in Today Online.
Photo from Don Wong Today Online 13 Jun 13
Much earlier, just after Minister Tan Chuan Jin's visit, there were also many media features about the Southern Expedition. Here's some highlights.

Don Wong Today Online 13 Jun 13 shares a slideshow of photos of people at work in the article Searching the coast for marine life. "From scooping for living specimens with a simple nylon net in the mudflats off Singapore’s coasts to peering through a high-powered microscope to determine whether a rare species is thriving in our waters once again, international and local scientists, aided by enthusiastic volunteers and students, tirelessly surveyed marine flora and fauna in the Straits of Singapore and the Southern islands over three weeks."

Immediately after the VIP visit to the Southern Expedition by Minister Tan, there was this great video clip about the Expedition on Channel NewsAsia.

Grace Chua Straits Times 28 May 13 also featured Species possibly new to science found in seas here/ Some highlights from her article:

A thumb-size crab that has only six legs, another that shares a burrow with a worm and a sea anemone that looks as if it wears lipstick - these denizens of Singapore's seas could be completely new to science.

"The nicer thing than finding new species is finding old friends," said Professor Peter Ng, director of NUS' Tropical Marine Science Institute. For instance, a brightly patterned zebra crab not seen since the 1960s turned up last year at the islands south of Singapore.

The southern expedition is more challenging than the previous one to Singapore's northern seas and shores last October, said Prof Ng. The area surveyed this year, which spans from Jurong to Changi, is at least three times bigger than the northern region, and includes busy shipping lanes.

Will Singapore ever have a gazetted marine reserve? That is a complex issue, Prof Ng said. "I would say we are on the road towards a reserve. It depends a lot on the sentiments of the people." While the survey, which began in December 2010, will identify biodiversity hot spots that merit protection, he added, "once you set a reserve... we cannot backtrack after that".

Woo Sian Boon Today Online 28 May 13 in More marine species discovered in second phase of expedition reports:
Photo from Woo Sian Boon Today Online 28 May 13
Professor Peter Ng, Director of the NUS Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Tropical Marine Science Institute says: “It’s quite exciting because we are surveying places we have never gone to before. For example, we are dredging into the ‘Singapore Deeps’ just offshore (St John’s Island), and these are waters going down about 100m to 200m deep.”

NParks Deputy Chief Executive Officer Leong Chee Chiew the survey will aid in Singapore’s marine conservation efforts. “We will be better able to identify what to do in various areas of our seas. Because we know more, our efforts can be much more targeted and more effective,” he said.

Full text of articles on wildsingapore news
The Mega Marine Survey will continue! With other smaller scale surveys and dredges throughout the year. You CAN be a part of this. There will be lots of other opportunities for volunteers to participate in dredging, field surveys as well as laboratory sessions. To join the Mega Marine Survey, register your interest in this form and you'll be invited to join the mailing list to receive updates on the Survey and sign up for Survey activities. Also check out the FAQs for more about the Survey. 

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