We were back at Semakau today doing a survey at the other site. Between my group and july's group laid a gigantic drift net. I was looking forward to the survey as the marine life there is supposedly a lot richer than the usual site that we always survey. However, not long after we started the survey, we heard Ron calling out very loudly at the rocky shores that there were Blacktip Reef Sharks! Curious, we all stopped doing what we did and went over to have a look.
But to our dismay, what we saw was carcass of a dead shark trapped in the drift net. It was my first time seeing a Blacktip Reef Shark. Although i've always wanted to see one, I didn't expect to see it like this.
Seeing it trapped in the net made my heart wrench.
After taking a few shots of the shark, we went back to continue with our survey. After a while, Ron found the third one, trapped dead in the net too. My heart literally sank when i heard it. While we did our surveys, Ron, Ms Wang and Marcus rolled the drift net from the reefs to the rocky shore.
After we finished the survey, a lot of us helped to move the super huge and heavy drift net up the seawall and to the main road so that the NEA people could come and collect it to prevent the fishermen from using it again. It was not an easy job but with everyone's help, we still managed to do it! Didn't take any pictures after that as I was covered with sand and algae from moving and cutting the net.
The drift nets were probably laid there by the fishermen or workers living on the nearby islands. Although this may only seem free food to them, but they probably have no idea how much harm it will cause to the marine animals. In fact, possessing a drift net is illegal! But i guess people who laid the nets didn't care so much, and the law is not strongly enforced in Singapore.
This time, it trapped 3 sharks with a few other fishes, but what about the previous times and in the future? These nets can also trap animals like turtles and dolphins! We always see nets around when we visit the shores, but those people who laid the nets probably don't know how precious these marine animals are. A lot of my friends don't know that there're actually sharks etc in Singapore's waters. With these irresponsible people laying the nets and killing them, whether intentional or unintentional, these animals may eventually disappear completely from our waters and we may not even have a chance to see them anymore.
Hopefully this will be the first and the last time that we're going to witness this kind of situation. Really hope that the authorities will do something about it and not let these people to continue doing harm to the animals and even our reefs. I believe that none of us will want these animals going missing in the future, and it is really a nightmare that I don't wish for it to happen.