Mar 11, 2008

In the news: controls over illegal landings on Pulau Sekudu

Forgotten sister of Chek Jawa gets protection
Permits needed to visit Pulau Sekudu
Aditi Shivaramakrishnan, The New Paper 11 Mar 08;

full article on the wildsingapore news blog.

Here's some extracts ...

While Chek Jawa is known for its natural gems, Sekudu, its neglected sister, has been the victim of repeated illegal fishing, camping and harvesting of marine creatures such as oysters and clams.

Between July and September 2007, there were more than 20 landings on Pulau Sekudu, Mr Robert Teo said. He is the assistant director in charge of Pulau Ubin at the National Parks Board (NParks).

NParks has been managing the area since January 2002, implementing rules that restrict access to Chek Jawa's inter-tidal habitats. That protection is extended to Sekudu because it is found within the 100-ha Chek Jawa Wetlands.

Explaining the reason for the permit system, Mr Teo said: 'Chek Jawa Wetlands, which includes Pulau Sekudu, is an important and unique area for the conservation of Singapore's marine life.

'Thus, NParks decided to manage public access to minimise damage to its fragile marine habitat.'

NParks approves permit applications only for activities such as research and coastal cleanups. These are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

NParks staff members and security guards stationed at Chek Jawa Wetlands are equipped with powerful binoculars to scan the area for illegal activities.

Mr Teo said: 'They will record the registration numbers of any boats landing or engaging in poaching.

'NParks will then check with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for the particulars of the boat owners for enforcement action.'

NParks has also started regular boat patrol and relies on volunteers to act as its eyes and ears.

Since the rules were implemented, there have been 27 cases of illegal landings. Warning letters are issued to first-time offenders.

There have also been four cases of poaching.

In the case of repeat offenders, NParks will carry out thorough investigations before taking action in accordance with the Parks and Trees Act.

Related links

Parks and Trees Act on the reddotbeachbum blog.

Poaching incidents encountered by volunteers:


sgbeachbum said...

Great that a news article is out for public absorption...this way more people will know that Pulau Sekudu is an important biodiversity site and one that is protected!

budak said...

found this discussion on an angling forum:

Ria Tan said...

Thanks for the link Budak!

It does show that there are some responsible fishermen and that anglers do want to do their part to conserve our shores.