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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


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News about NUS' Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore - Archives

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Thu 31 Aug 2006

Fri 1st Sept, 12pm - Sivasothi on Marine Life and Threats in Singapore

Category : talks

"The Surprises of Marine Life in Singapore and the threat of Marine Trash"
A lunch time talk conducted in conjunction with NUS' participation at the 15th International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (ICCS) on Saturday 9th September 2006.

By N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
http://coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg/
Research Officer/Instructor,
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, NUS

Date: Friday, 1st September 2006
Time: 12pm - 1pm
Venue: LT31, Science Drive 1,
Faculty of Science

About the talk:
The Singapore coastline is still survived by interesting patches of coastal and marine ecosystems, which are home to otters, dugongs, sea stars, octopus, dolphins, hundreds of species of fish, sea snakes, turtles and even crocodiles! Creatures new to science are still being discovered today.

Siva will share some recent surprises like the adult female dugong carcass museum staff dissected on Pulau Tekong in June, and the baby turtles that were rescued heading the wrong way towards the ECP one night in May!

Marine life faces several challenges - development, marine trash, poaching and environmental accidents. In this focus on marine trash, plastic is a particular curse and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on World Environment Day 2004 that "Marine trash, mainly plastic, is killing more than a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles each year".

Can we change this picture?
Volunteers with the annual International Coastal Cleanup Singapore removed 10,334 kg from our coastline in a single day 2004 - almost 90% of this was plastic and almost two-third was from land-based sources. Abandoned nets entangled and killed birds, snakes, crabs, horseshoe crabs and fish. In just one evening alone, volunteers removed 99 horseshoe crabs from a ghost net in Mandai mangroves.

In the past three years, volunteers from NUS have joined the team to help clear Kranji mangroves of 9,236 kg of mangroves. Each year, an average of 3 tonnes is removed, after just 90 minutes of effort! After a decade of combined efforts, the mangroves in Buloh-Kranji are in a very good shape - with small steps like these, we have made a difference!

About the speaker:
N. Sivasothi, a.k.a. 'Otterman' is a Research Officer/Instructor at NUS' Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.

The mangroves have been the backdrop to his research, education and conservation activities since the late 80's when he first ventured into mangroves as an undergraduate student with NUS.

The problem of marine trash and abandoned drift nets clearly evident during field trips, he agreed to coordinate the first mangrove cleanup in 1997 and 10 years later the effort now involves many partners and covers several sites. In 2001, he also became the national coordinator of the ICCS and is now assisted by a team of museum volunteers called the ICCS Otters.

Siva gives talks in schools and organizations about marine life in Singapore and is the author and co-editor of "A Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore", editor of Habitatnews and coordinator of Toddycats! - the Raffles Museum volunteers.

Posted at 9:24AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,