What drew you to this event?
I was aware that Singapore has a highly diverse marine life, but I was curious how its currently striving today. So I decided to use this opportunity to clarify my doubts and learn other things on marine life and our co-existence with them.
What are 3 things you learned from this event? Was there anything which surprised you?
Firstly, funnily enough, I never knew that corals are actually animals, not plants, despite their appearance. So after I heard this fact during the BQLive, I just had to look more into these creatures. The corals utilise cells called nematocysts to immobolise or kill prey, using venom that they carry which is released immediately after it comes in contact with another organism.
Secondly, I never knew that Singapore was a hot spot for breeding turtles. Despite being chosen as a hot spot, Singapore comes with a few challenges for these turtles. For example, there are natural predators, such as monitor lizards and ghost crabs, that consider turtle eggs as a source of food. As such, teams are deployed to help these turtles only when the situation is dire, because the eggs are delicate and the embryos inside can be damaged easily just by slightly rotating them.
Thirdly, the famous tongue twister “She sells seashells by the seashore” is actually a big deal. The phrase is associated with Mary Anning, who collected fossils along the shores of Southwest England. Her findings contributed a lot to prehistoric life and the history of Earth. Unfortunately, she did not receive the credit she deserved when she was alive due to gender inequality. Only 163 years later after her death, she has been recognised as one of the top 10 British women who have most influenced the history of science.
Having heard from the speaker, what is 1 new insight or question you have about marine conservation?
One important insight that is also a good reminder is that as individuals, we can contribute towards marine conservation in various ways. Even raising awareness goes a long way.
How do you think people can contribute to marine conservation?
I think one way to start is to look up things we can do to avoid harming marine life unintentionally. For example, we can clean up after ourselves after an activity, regardless of where we are. This is because when it rains, litter or debris will end up in the canal, which eventually leads to the ocean. Another example is that we shouldn’t disturb turtles when they are nesting, as they will become stressed and abandon the nest.