BQLive Marine Sharing Session

In recent years, improper waste disposal (such as plastics) has been a great concern to the marine life. There were many news and posts being published on the internet, showing how marine animals are being negatively affected by marine debris. (e.g being tangled in fishing nets etc. ) These urged me to want to learn more about the marine lives and how I can play a part in marine conservation.

Even though it was pity that we are not able to go outdoor to learn more about the marine life, the live sharing still provided me with many insights.

3 things I have learnt:

1. While individual tries to appreciate the marine creatures/ environment, they might be destroying/affecting the marine life unknowingly. For example, the Chek Jawa Guided Tour. While the public are busy taking photo of the marine life, they might accidentally trampled over some of the sea cucumbers and sea urchins. They might also disturb the natural habitat of the marine creatures.

2. Turtles

  • Monitor lizards and ghost crabs are predators of turtle eggs. They are able to locate the turtle eggs using their special sense of smell. Shore birds are also the other common predator.
  • Female turtles will usually come up to the shore to lay their eggs at night, as it is more quiet. However, turtles might choose not to lay their eggs when they are being disturbed, usually by the overwhelming curiosity of the public.

3. We are indirectly consuming micro plastic.

  • Plastic is very light. It can be carried by wind/rain into the drain which would be washed into the sea.
  • Moreover, plastic are non-biodegradable and they take years to break down into tiny little pieces known as micro plastic.
  • It was known that marine animals consume micro plastic as a source of food.
  • Thus, when we consume these marine creatures, we are indirectly consuming these micro plastic that are not digested by the marine creatures (e.g seafood)

One of the most memorable takeaway I had was on the sharing of the relocation of turtle eggs.

“Let nature take its course” This was a quote shared by Pei Rong, the Marine Conservationist.

She shared with us that when a turtle nest was being found, they would first have to assess the location of the nest and determine the risk, before determining if they should interfere and relocate the eggs.

If the eggs were laid in areas with high human traffic/areas prone to coastal erosion/areas that are vulnerable to the predators, they would need to relocate the eggs.

This is because relocation of eggs is never easy. They have to maintain the orientation of the eggs so as to not disturb the embryo. Hence, even though this process increase the chance of survival of the turtles, conservationists try not to interfere unless the marine creatures are in danger.

Lastly, public can contribute to marine conservation through many different ways.

  • volunteer for beach/dive clean-up
  • reduce plastic usage
  • designing of info-graphs to raise awareness

Don’t forget, every small steps count and small steps will eventually lead to a big change!

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