Singapore’s mass fish deaths: a signal of problems in the Johor Strait?

This month at Green Drinks, we look at the alarming issue of mass fish deaths, which occurred in Singapore in the last two years. To give us a first-hand perspective, we have Wild Singapore’s Ria Tan, who has documented its occurrences closely, and former fish farmer, Joseph Wee, who has experienced it as a fish farmer. Audience members are invited to also chime in as part of this discussion. Do join us for this very insightful session!

Background to Ria’s talk:
Singapore’s northern shores are alive! When healthy, the Johor Strait marine ecosystem provides good water quality for the benefit of all. Recent annual mass fish deaths suggest something is wrong. There are signs that the decline in ecosystem health has been going on for nearly a decade. The 120 fish farms in the Johor Strait have taken the brunt, but eventually, more in Singapore will be impacted by this growing crisis. With climate change, it is likely to get worse and a ‘Dead Zone’ could develop in the Johor Strait. Why should we care? What is causing this? What should the government do? What has the community been doing about this?

Background to Joseph’s talk:
Joseph Wee will share his experience of the mass fish deaths and possible causes. He will do a show and tell with slide pictures about oil pollution and water quality, its causes and effects over time, and how Harmful Algae Bacteria (HAB) comes out of the ‘Blue’. Joseph will also cover how carbon can be used to absorb/dissolve oil in seawater.

Date: 25 May 2016 (Wed)
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Venue: SingJazz Club, 101 Jalan Sultan, #02-00, The Sultan.
Admission: Free (contributions to society accepted)
RSVP: Via Facebook or e-mail greendrinkssingapore@gmail.com

See you there!

About Our Speakers

Ria Tan
Ria Tan is an ordinary person who is fascinated with Singapore’s marine life. She is not a scientist. But will share what she has learnt from academics, agencies, volunteers. As well as from her 15 years monitoring Singapore’s shores: 100 surveys every year, covering 40 Singapore shore locations. She also hopes participants can help share insights into the issues.

Her involvement started with Chek Jawa before reclamation was deferred. She is now part of the Friends of Ubin Network and coordinated Ubin Day 2014, Ubin Day 2015 and Pesta Ubin 2016. She set up the shore guiding system at Chek Jawa and Pulau Semakau and trained volunteer guides at the Sisters Islands Marine Park. She volunteers as a nature guide with the Naked Hermit Crabs who conduct free monthly walks at Chek Jawa for nearly a decade. Ria blogs at wild shores of singapore and runs the wildsingapore website.

Joseph Wee
Prior to becoming a fish farmer, Joseph worked in the oil refining and related oil & gas industries for about 20 years, then as a service contractor for Hyflux, and subsequently, in the field of natural gas vehicle conversion. He spent 6 years as a fish farmer, and more than 3 years as a hobby farmer.

Joseph now works for a company focused on waste oil and plastic incineration, and the application and usage of carbon from petroleum. His latest project looks at the use of carbon-rod filters to treat waste, polluted water, sea water and other water bodies.

All photos courtesy of Ria Tan