Monday, May 31, 2010

Oil Spill Aftermath at Tanah Merah

Ever since I heard about the oil spill, I had been rather worried and had wanted to check out our shores to see bad was the situation. However, I had been very busy with work for the past few days. This morning, I finally managed to find time to visit Tanah Merah to check on the situation there.

Oil Spill
I had read from the news that the authorities had cleared most of the oil slick, and hence I was rather surprised to see the thick layer of crude oil in the canal behind the containment booms. What was more worrying was that the oil was on the landward side, not the seaward side of the booms!

Oil Spill
A few used containment booms in a huge bag by the side of the canal. I commented to Peiting that they looked like serpents in bags...

Oil Spill
On one end of the shore over about 30m, the situation was still rather bad, with a thick layer of crude oil on the sand.

Oil Spill
Here's a closer look at the oil slick next to the rock bund.

Oil Spill
On most of the other parts of the shore, while the oil slick was not so thick, a thin layer of oil could still be seen on the upper shore forming an oily strand line.

Oil Spill
In the water, I could see a thin layer of oil at the edge, with most of the rocks coated oil too.

Many organisms appeared to be rather badly affected by the oil slick.

Worms on oil slick
The most obviously ones would probably be the various worms. Many bristleworms could be found on top of the crude oil layer.

Worms among oil blobs
Further away from the upper shore, the oil form smaller blobs, and various worms could be found dead among them.

Segmented worm next to oil blob
Here's a closer look at one of the segmented worms next to an oil blob. It was still alive, but barely...

Bleeding segmented worm
Another segmented worm appeared to be bleeding badly. It was really depressing to see such a scene.

Sea cucumber coated with oil and sand
I also found a few sea cucumbers coated with oil and sand. They were still alive, but I doubt they would survive.

Dead and disintegrating Sand-sifting Sea Star (Archaster typicus)
But the most depressing thing would be seeing the many dead and disintegrating Sand-sifting Sea Stars (Archaster typicus). I lost count of the number of dead sea stars after a while...

Dead Heart Urchins (probably Maretia ovata)
One of the tidal pools become a Heart Urchin (probably Maretia ovata) graveyard. There were at least 15 dead ones inside.

Dead Heart Urchins (probably Maretia ovata)
Some of the dead heart urchins still had their spines on them were also spotted, meaning they just died recently. I also saw a few live ones, but really not sure if they would survive.

Dead Horned Ghost Crab (Ocypode ceratophthalma)
There were quite a number of dead Horned Ghost Crabs (Ocypode ceratophthalma), all covered with crude oil.

I saw a few ghost crab burrows on the upper shore on the oil coated upper shore. Wonder if the resident of this burrow was still alive?

Dead Spotted Moon Crab (Ashtoret lunaris)
There were many dead Spotted Moon Crabs (Ashtoret lunaris) too.

Dead Spectacled Box Crab (Calappa philargius)
We found a dead Spectacled Box Crab (Calappa philargius) and a dead Reef Box Crab (Calappa hepatica).

Dead Juvenile Spider Conch (Lambis lambis)
There were a few dead Spider Conches (Lambis lambis), including a large juvenile which hasn't develop proper spines as seen above.

Dead Gong-gongs (Strombus turturella)
Dead Gong-gongs (Strombus turturella) could be commonly seen every where...

Dead moon snail (Polinices mammilla)
There were quite a few dead moon snails, both Polinices mammilla (above) and Natica zonalis, though we saw a few live ones too.

Dead Onch Slugs (Family Onchidiidae)
There were many dead Onch Slugs (Family Onchidiidae) washed onto the upper shore.

Dead Squid
We also found a dead squid, though I am not sure if it died because of the oil spill.

It was indeed very depressing as we explore the shores of Tanah Merah. However, we came across several other animals that appeared healthy too. Will put up a separate blog post on them soon, and hopefully now that the situation had supposedly improved, these survivors would be able to remain healthy.

1 comment:

sgbeachbum said...

some pics and clips from the day before at Tanah Merah :