1. What drew you to this event?
Most of what lies in our shores seem to go unnoticed as not many are aware of the marine life in Singapore. Ever since I had visited Sister’s Island last year, I have always wanted to find out more about how we could raise awareness for our local biodiversity and better engage the community on marine conservation.
2. What are 3 things you learned from this event? Was there anything that surprised you?
- Experience matters in galvanising people to conserve. Most people might be ignorant of conservation efforts and not heed the advice of conservationists because they are unfamiliar with the myriad of plant and animal life on our coastal waters. Due to their lack of engagement with marine life (not noticing anything on visits to the beach, never having heard of such organisms etc.), conservation may seem like a daunting and complex issue that few are willing to be involved in. Hence, one way to ramp up conservation efforts is to enhance the experience the community has with our marine life, and in appreciating its beauty would they be more conscious of any potentially harmful actions to our marine environment.
- We need to recognise multiple uses and needs of our limited marine space. Different stakeholders may have different perspectives on the value of our marine environment, and the land may suffer damage as a result of conflicting views. Hence, when coming up with conservation policies, we should consider the interests and views of other stakeholders as well so that everyone realises they have a role to play and the resultant policies are fair and effective.
- It surprised me to find out that there were many ways in which we could accidentally harm marine life without knowing it. For example, turning on the camera flashlight to take pictures of sea turtles on our phones can frighten or distract them. Since they lay their eggs at night, the sudden light can cause them to abandon their nests halfway or crawl back to sea without laying their eggs. As such, education is important to ensure our actions do not unknowingly disturb marine life.
3. Having heard from the speaker, what is 1 new insight or question you have about marine conservation?
How should we keep human interference to a minimum while maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem, with regards to invasive species in our waters?
4. How do you think people can contribute to marine conservation?
We don’t need to be scientists to study conservation. Personal efforts such as reducing plastic consumption and sharing knowledge and photos about marine life on social media can help raise awareness to encourage action.