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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Fri 12 Oct 2007

Diving off Pasir Ris Park (Eastern Johor Straits)

Category : marine

Justin Sng, and ecology student in NUS and a divemaster who frequents Pulau Dayang, Malaysia, wrote an account of a recent dive he made off Pasr Ris Park. He's isn't put offf by the poor visibility, and reports that "the beach contain some degree of biodiversity."!

Location: Pasir Ris Park
Date: 28 Jun 2007
Time in: 1635hrs
Time out: 1708hrs
Total bottom time: 33mins
Nature of Dive: Shore Dive
Estimated maximum distance from shore: 70-80m
Tide status: high tide slack
Current: Slight current
Temperature: 31 degrees C
Visibility: 0.5m

Average Depth: 3.0m
Max Depth: 4.3m

The three of us take on Pasir Ris:

"The dive was done from the shore of Paris Ris at about 4.30pm when the tide was high and presumably about to receed. It was carried out by three of us - a dive instructor, a fellow diver and myself. We took our bearing towards the special (yellow) becon from the shore. The water was extremely polluted with a stench which smells like waste discharge.

Poor vis, Lost buddy

To begin the dive, we swam about 10m away from the shore before descending to a depth of 1.5m. The seabed was muddy with high sediment content resting on it, which is easily disturbed. Thereafter, we followed our bearing towards the beacon. As we proceeded, we gradually decended. Due to the limited visibility, we stayed extremely close to each other. However, we still had a lost buddy situation which forced us to ascend. We were only less than 10m away from each other though. Upon regrouping, we proceeded on with the dive.

Thereafter, we encountered 2 underwater sandbar parallel to the shoreline. Thereafter, we managed to encounter the base of the beacon before ending the dive.

Soft corals, seaweeds

Despite the poor visibility, we managed to spot a few visible organisms. We found many sea pen corals (soft corals) scattered spaced about 2-3 meters apart on the sea bed. The size of the corals ranged between about 15cm to 30cm. Apart from that, we spotted at least 2 species of seaweeds (identification unknown) in small clusters.

Crocodile fish

Most memorably, we saw a crocodile fish staying motionless on the sea bed within a small cluster of seaweed. The tail and fins of the fish looked similar to that of a mudskipper. However, the head looks like that of a crocodile with a rounded and flattened beak-like structure. We observed it for about 30sec while it remained motionless before we continue the dive.

"the beach contain some degree of biodiversity"

Overall, this dive was an extremely unique not just because of its poor visibility. We were pleasantly surprised at our sightings, especially the crocodile fish and the large population of sea pen corals together with a few different seaweeds. Hence, the beach contain some degree of biodiversity, which requires an observant individual to notice it."

What is a crocodile fish? A quick check suggests Cymbacephalus beauforti but I will wait for fishy people to get back to me.

FishBase - Cymbacephalus beauforti
picture by Randall, J.E. , Reef and Shore Fishes of the Hawaiian Islands.


Posted at 3:41AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news