Did you know that thousands of dead fishes, including puffer fish and catfish washed up at Pasir Ris beach on 28 February 2015? It was a huge shock to Singaporeans on Pasir Ris Beach that day. In fact there are still corpses of fishes being washed up now and then. Have researchers finally found the cause of the problem?
After conducting many water test of seawater taken from Pasir Ris Beach, researchers have zeroed in on the source of the problem. It was first believed to be a type of algae. Personally I find that a little hard to believe because if those algae were harmful to fishes, why did they not do anything to humans? Apparently, the algae is known as Gymnodinium mikimotoi and it is not toxic to humans, but has been associated with massive kills of wild and farmed fishes in Japan and Korea therefore it is believed to be the cause of the problem.
However, they were wrong; it was indeed not the doing of the algae, but that of a recent plankton bloom! The plankton bloom responsible for the recent mass fish deaths cannot be prevented, but steps can be taken to minimise its impact when it occurs, Minister of State for National Development Maliki Osman said. Over the past few weeks, over 600 tonnes of fish has died! Find that unbelievable? I don’t, not after seeing the amount of dead fishes piling up at sungei buloh nature reserve while taking a walk. The smell was horrible.
Therefore, I hope that the problem can be solved quickly as this not only affects us, it also affects the fish farmers out there who have worked so hard to make a living. The AVA is also working with agencies and research experts to study the relationship between plankton blooms and fish kill.
The government has also commissioned projects to develop closed containment systems, which would reduce the vulnerability of fish stock to water conditions. Those farmers have reported that their fishes have been dying off one by one recently and they hope to have some kind of compensation. Let everyone put in their efforts to save the fish!
References : http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/singapore-budget-2015-ava-taking-steps-address-fish-deat
Stephanie Guan (2P)