- What drew you to this event?
- What are 3 things you learned from this event?Was there anything which surprised you?
- Having heard from the speaker, what is 1 new insight or question you have about marine conservation?
- How do you think people can contribute to marine conservation?
To start off, I have always been deeply interested and curious about marine life. Hence, I definitely could not miss out on such a precious opportunity to hear from a marine conservationist, not only to find out more about the marine life, but also marine conservation in Singapore.
Firstly, something that left a deep impression in me was how Ms Pei Rong cleared up a very common misconception among the public; which was that NEA and NParks were different!! The people in NParks don’t deal with waste management, water pollution issues and recycling of water. Instead, they are involved in nature conservation work and are more likely to clean up beaches. Since this is a frequent misconception, I thought to include this learning point in my reflection!! It may seem glaringly obvious but I’m embarrassed to say that even I had this misconception before I became a BFF Challenger this year. So it’s very important to not mix them up, they have separate jobs!!!
Secondly, I learnt that when setting policies to protect marine biology in Singapore; there are the following things to consider:
- It is important to recognise the multiple needs involved of different parties involved. For example, the seas used for shipping are also used for fish farming, conservation and there is also developmental pressure. So these different needs and uses must be identified and brought into consideration so as to make the policy of higher relevance.
- It is also crucial to think from a large range of various perspectives. For example, marine conservation cannot just be looked at from a biologist’s perspective, it is important to take into account other perspectives of parties such as, economists, engineers etc. A balanced approach needs to be taken, and the policymakers need to understand that these policies are very context specific. Something that works in situation A or country A may not work in situation B or country B. Hence, it is important to not just come from a scientific perspective, but also consider different perspectives to assess different needs.
Thirdly, I found out how the relocation of turtle eggs to the hatchery on Sisters’ Island is an extremely delicate process. This is because when turtle eggs are located, it is likely that only a very general location is given, and a lot of time is needed to narrow it down. This is especially so after rain or high tide because the turtle tracks would be washed away. These turtle eggs must also be reached before their various predators. Predators such as the monitor lizard have an extremely acute sense of smell and are able to find these eggs really quickly and eat them. However, the race of time for finding turtle eggs are not just against the predators. After the eggs have been laid, there is a 2 hour golden period where they can be moved. But after this time period, they should not be shifted because it would cause problems in the development of the turtles, and another 2-3 weeks are needed before they can be moved. When moving these eggs, they must also be handled with extreme care because a slight change in orientation of yolk could potentially cause problems in the development of the turtles.
An important insight I gained from this session was the epiphany that people do not have to be at huge organisational levels to make a difference. They do not have to specifically be a biologist or conservationist to make a change. There are many ways people can help in conservation, be it on an individual, national or regional level.
There are many ways people can contribute to marine conservation efforts. It is important to start off with self-assessment and identify what their strengths and interests are, as well as being clear in what they hope to achieve.
On an individual level, people can help clean beaches, volunteer with NParks, help in diving cleanups in the Singaporean reefs etc. There are many opportunities available if one is truly interested and takes the effort to find them and actually carry out these activities.
Another way of helping with conservation is by helping to raise awareness. Just as how I am currently writing my reflections, people can share what they have seen, observed and learnt from these conservation efforts with other people. Currently, we are in an age where we spend a lot of time on social media, and we should take advantage of this to assist in marine conservation! Share with people on social media interesting marine biology in Singapore and encourage them to learn more. After piquing their interest to learn, they will start off by appreciating the marine life in Singapore and eventually be moved to take action!!
That is all, it was truly a very enlightening and also fun experience with Ms Pei Rong!! Thank you:))
One thought on “Burning Questions LIVE with a Marine Conservationist!!”
Comprehensive write-up 🙂 Glad you took away not just new knowledge about marine life, but valuable insights about conservation as well.