Nov 30, 2007

Killer driftnets removed from Berlayar Creek, Labrador

Just a few hours earlier at around 9pm, a small group of Naked Hermit Crabs, Wildfilms crew and friend made time to catch a short not-so-low tide to get rid of driftnets at Belayar Creek.
The little creek next to Labrador, just opposite Sentosa, where the bright lights shine on reclamation work for the Integrated Resort. The manly members were out in deeper waters dealing with a massive tangle of nets.
Meanwhile, the ladies were seriously dealing with a net that had an anchoring tyre well embedded in the sand.
A lot of digging and dragging was involved.But it's no problem for the tough gals!

Meanwhile, the guys make three trips dragging up portions of the mega mess.

It's tough trying to drag nets equal to your body weight across rocks and on soft mud.

And there just SO MUCH of it. Closer examination shows there are several very long nets abandoned out there in a huge tangle. Andy rightly called it the Mother of All Driftnets.

Why are abandoned nets a problem?

Because they continuously kill as long as they are there. Animals such as horseshoe crabs and crabs get entangled and die a miserable death. Fishes too. If they get loose and drift into the sea, they may entangle dolphins, sea turtles and dugongs, which are air-breathing animals and will drown if they can't reach the surface.

The guys rescued one trapped horseshoe crab, a very large one, probably a female because of her size. But there were several in the net that were already dead.

The team only managed to take out one third of the mess before the tide turned.
After dragging the nets off the flats, there was still the tricky bit of getting them up the sea wall. Fortunately, Michelle brought a long rope!

Some tying up and a quick pull, the nets were hauled right up to the shore where they could no longer harm sea creatures.

The team took out piles of nets that were bigger than them! Thank you Cynthia, Andy, Robert and Michelle.

We will come back with a bigger team to drag out the rest of the mess at the next series of low tides.

The mega driftnets were first spotted and reported on the reddot blog
More about Berlayar Creek during a recent visit on the ashira blog and discovery blog.

You CAN make a difference! Come join us as we remove the rest of the diftnets, or join the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

2 comments:

~ Mantamola ~ said...

Great job! Is really a men-made disastrous for all the animals to have the net there and not to mention about the size.

beachbum said...

Actually, only about 5% of the meganet was removed. There was a large section underwater and not easily visible in the dark of the night. The distribution of the anchor points indicate that it was a few nets laid out in a maze. It must have looked impressive when originally set up. Nothing much would escape. Unfortunately, the same would be when the maze had collapsed. We successfully freed 2 live marine horseshoe crabs(triangular x-sectional tails). However, the larger female still had plastic netting stuck amongst her appendages.

This is one project which will need a more organised effort by quite a few more people. There is quite a bit of other junk in this area too.