Dec 22, 2007

Taking out the trash: Berlayar Creek, Labrador

This afternoon, despite threatening clouds, a determined bunch of Naked Hermit Crabs headed out to Belayar Creek to deal with the monster gill nets there. To finish up the job we started in an earlier trip.
Led by the intrepid Andy Dinesh, we set about to remove the massive network of nets abandoned on the shore. They are half buried so there's a fair bit of digging to do.Then cutting them up and dragging them out. Thank goodness we have many hands and strong backs today.There were nets even in deeper waters.
I felt as if we dragged out more than our body weight in nets.
There was a particularly long one (about 50m long) across the Creek itself, ending at Keppel Club.
We dragged it out to the Keppel Club shore and the Club staff were kind enough to offer to dispose of them. This saved us from heaving the nets out over the soft mud to the Labrador side of the shore. Thank you!And as we were hauling out nets, there was a boat just off the shore, setting down a fish trap as big as a man.The guy notices us.
And we note their registration number.
Andy found a very sick and dying heron. Poor thing.Just as we thought we took it all out, as we were leaving the shore, we came across MORE junk stuck among the rocks at the high water mark!We sure hauled out a lot of nets and junk! The iron rod Ivan hauled out is taller than himself! (He says now he has a tongkat longer than Ron's!)
The tired team is quite pleased to have cleared most of the junk off the shore. June, Andy, July, Joe Lai, Ivan and Tiong Chin, all having fun with poor Robert H. who really tired out from all the work.
And what an incredible amount of junk it was. Besides nets, there were thick ropes, barbed wire, plastic bags in various stages of disintegration, lots of golf balls, CDs and even insect repellent.
This is killer litter! We saw some crabs and little fishes stuck in the nets.
But gill nets can do far worse. Here's a photo of dugongs drowned in gill nets in Abu Dhabi.
Singapore has dugongs too. What a terrible shame if these abandoned nets killed our gentle dugongs. Tomorrow, we are going to clean up the Northern coast, which we suspect is visited by dugongs.

We're looking into doing this more seriously and regularly. If you'd like to help out, drop me an email. Ria at


Claribel Pinero said...

I'm very proud of you, great work, you people give me faith in humans, i fight every day against people who destroy our planet, but you people are doing a great work keeping it safe for our marvelous creatures of the oceans! Thanks from the caribbean, we really apreciate your work!!!

ria tan said...

Thank you for your kind encouragement Claribel Pinero!