Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life

Secret lives and secret worlds hidden in Singapore's most popular coral reef.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Maps of Singapore Waters, past and present

These maps, indicating the extent of marine ecosystems and reclamation in Singapore Waters in the 1950's and 2002, were published by the NSS Marine Conservation Group in their 2003 book "Singapore Waters".

The maps here have been featured by permission of the Group. A slightly larger 640 x 465 photo of the marine ecosystem maps and other marine images can be downloaded from the Singapore Waters gallery.

If you need anything better, you can purchase the book which is retailing at $51.90 (see The Botanic Gardens Shop (Nature's Niche) or Select Books.

See also: Vegetation maps of Singapore, circa 1819 and c. 1990, from the Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore, 1999.

Extract: Habitatnews

Sunday, April 24, 2005

BWV does Jong

Sunday, April 24

As part of their Dive In to Earth Day celebrations, the Blue Water Volunteers conducted a Reef Check survey at Pulau Jong, an outcrop of an island located East of Pulau Hantu.

The gorgeous verdure of Jong.

Sargassum seaweed pendulate in the shallows of Jong's fringe reef: Check out the outstanding vis! It is theorised that 5 years of a halt to reclaimation can restore a reef damaged by unnatural siltation to its original splendour.

Invaders! Parasites on a mushroom coral.

More of the reef scape...

Blooms of Neptunes Cup, a beautiful sponge found throughout the Indo-Pacific. These specimens suffer considerable bleaching.

Awww! Magnificent sea whips! This specimen over 2 meters in length.

Making like a coral, this Seagrass Filefish remains motionless to avoid detection.

Submerged beneath just 3 meters of water, is this outstanding colony of Psammocora coral.

The Earth Day Reef Check dive team.

No better day to celebate Earth Day than immersed in our local waters.

220kg of trash in 90 mins

Saturday, April 23

As part of the Dive In to Earth Day celebrations, Seahounds Scuba, together with the generous support of ICCS and NParks, successfully ran a coastal clean up at Kranji mangroves.

As you can see, there were participants of all age groups. A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who partipated! This event was a success because of YOU!

The 25 participants, 5 crew and 4 Sungei Buloh staff cleared a total of 220kg of trash in under 90 minutes!

To better understand the amount of litter collected, all trash was identified, accounted for, and weighed.

Both volunteers and crew were hard at work. It takes some serious labour to move 220kg of trash! And delicately too, to minimise the damage to natural vegetation in the area. See all the saplings sprouting around the mangrove! They're very brittle!

Airani and Abby collating the total amount of trash collected: Plastic bags turned out to be the biggest form of litter, with 1,660 pieces being collected. Food wrappers/containers, and straws were second and third respectively. See the detailed data.

Data is sent to the Ocean Conservancy headquarters in Washington, as well as ICCS for record keeping.

The Dive In to Earth Day team: (From left) Krish, Zeehan, Debby, Abby, Adrian and Airani.

More pictures from Dive In to Earth Day 2005: Kranji Mangrove Clean up

Sunday, April 17, 2005

BRIDGE - The Southwest CDC newsletter

The Hantu Blog was featured in the March-April issue of Bridge, the Southwest CDC newsletter, within which Pulau Hantu is located.

Click on image to read article

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Mangroves play an integral part in ensuring the health of our coral reefs. For Earth Day 2005, help work toward a solution to marine pollution by volunteering in this years Kranji mangrove cleanup. This event, conducted by Seahounds Scuba and supported by the Coastal Cleanup team, will take place on Saturday, 23 April 2005: 3pm - 6pm.

To register, send an email with

1. Your name,
2. The number of people accompanying you,
3. Your email address/es, and
4. Your handphone number/s.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Angling for corals

If you've been to Hantu's western fringe recently, you might be wondering what is up with all the unnatural structures that are now on the reef.

These structures called Angle Irons are part of a coral recruitment study being led by biologist Jani Thuaibah. She let me tag to document the implementation process on one condition - i had to help. I learnt, this day, marine biology is hardly as glamourous as NGC sometimes makes it out to look.

The iron pillars and terracota tiles were a crazy heavy load! Reef Friends volunteer Edmund Low and myself helped Jani transport the tiles throughout the reef flat, along two depths.

The tiles are fixed into the iron at angles of 0, 30, 60 and 90 degrees. Do not worry. The structures were only implemented at areas of coral rubble. No coral had to be or was removed for any reason.

Nature and its animals are always unduly accomodating. This damsel had already taken to defending this structure, established within its territory.

We love our damsels. We think they love us too. It's just that... sometimes, they express their affection in a way we find very hard to understand. They bring "love bite" to a whole new level... or whole new aggression...

During our work, we ran into other adorable creatures...

Fringe-eyed flathead, a common inhabitant in Hantu's deep and shallow.

Still finding its fins and learning how to swim... Juv. Sweetlips

Don't you think its got a bit of a dog-face?

Hypselodoris bullocki: Love is in the air.

Yellow-spot rabbitfish

Thanks to the good vis holding up. We managed some spactacular shots of the reef and all its glory.

There was also this very encouraging sight of several mushroom coral polyps sprouting out of a single dead mushroom coral polyp! How exciting is that?!

I learnt later that mushroom corals are capable of recruiting from the buds of a single polyp. Correct me if i'm using incorrect terminology here.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

It's all for leisure...

My first leisure dive in a long while. Very refreshing.



Mating flatworms

Allied cowrie on gorgonian

Flase scorpion fish are actually members of the grouper family

School of Yellowtail barracuda

School of Yellowback fusiliers

Gorgeous flatworm

Cautious-looking leatherjacket aka. filefish