Tanjung Kupang

July 2014

There were no Seahorses today.

On a field trip to the Sea Grass meadow in the Pulai river estuary today organized by Save Our Seahorses — our job was to help them count seahorses to monitor their situation. We found none. On their last organized outing only four were found. This is of a seahorse population, Hippocampus Kuda, that Malaysia is supposed to have the largest known population of in the world.

The area is being affected by the Pelepas development 2km away started 2 years ago and more recently the controversial Forest City land reclamation that started this February and has now been temporarily halted. Have a look at the photos to see both how wonderful our environmental heritage is here in Johor and how sad that it is being threatened so drastically — including the heritage occupations of the Johorians that live in this area.

On the way there:

The Sungai Pendas Jetty at dawn
Traditional Kelong against backdrop of industrial Singapore

We arrive at at the Sea Grass patch

We start looking for seahorses

This is what we found:

Thorny Sea Cucumber
Biscuit Star
Pipe Worm
Sea Urchin
Sea Anenome
Noble Volute
Peacock Anemone
Red Seaweed
Sand starfish
Tape Seagrass + Fern Seagrass

There is an unusually high amount of seaweed (in relation to sea grass) due to a high amount of nutrient levels released by land disturbance.

Fan Shell
Sea urchin
Knobbly Sea Star
The water is noticeably murky and the sea grass is covered with silt- a recent development
We can see the reclamation work for Forest City that has divided the sea grass patch into two

The tide has risen- time to leave.

No seahorses were found.

Last visit only 4 were sighted.

On our way home we see the floating fish farms — some with dogs guarding the fish. Some have been abandoned as the fish deaths from the recent red tide have decimated some businesses.

At the Sg Pendas Jetty there are fishermen selling flower crabs.

Fishmonger on the jetty selling local catch. Development will remove these traders.

Blue crabs, their numbers are dwindling

At the debriefing we were told that SOS has been collecting data for 10 years. Since the development of Pelepas 2 km away — there has been significant change, since february when the forest city development started — the changes have increased.