Crabs, cuttlefish and great company

Date July 9, 2023

In the city, we live with our backs to the sea. Busy with malls, streets and city pursuits, most of us forget what a treasure we have out here in Singapore. Today I was privileged to guide some divers on their first experience in Singapore reefs. Nature threw us a curve ball, and the visibility was absolutely challenging for the Open Water divers. “That’s Nature!” Steffie remarked. She’s right. Like meeting someone new for the first time, there can be lots of anxiety that surrounds the experience; unfamiliar environments, unknown expectations, and just bad weather! A good attitude is what helps us learn and discover a new place, and appreciate it with all of its blemishes! To get to known Pulau Hantu’s reefs better, visit often to experience all her the seasons! Divers saw nudibranchs, octopus, silver moonies, cuttlefish, groupers, and yellow-backed fusiliers cruising the shallow reefs during the outgoing tide as they fed in a frenzy.

Endangered sea turtle rescued by stand-up paddle boarders.

Date November 27, 2021

Protecting wild places doesn’t mean excluding people. Users can be stewards of land and sea. Stand-up paddle boarders found a hawksbill turtle off East Coast today and didn’t hesitate to rescue the endangered reptile that was tangled in discarded fishing nets. Photos: YP Loke

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Working Together to Save Our Seas

Date May 22, 2021

Marine groups and enthusiasts were very encouraged by the swift and committed response from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to retrieve the abandoned fishing net that was reported by boaters last week. This was a wonderful example of what we achieve when private, government and independent stakeholders are willing to work together and share information.

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Sea Turtle Drowned at Sea

Date May 16, 2021

On 15 May, 2021, travellers on a boat heading out to the fabulous reefs at Singapore’s Pulau Hantu thought they had encountered something special – a pair of sea turtles mating. So they inched closer for a better look.

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Soup of Egg and Sperm

Date May 12, 2021

Bad luck can run out. Hantu Blog volunteer Nicholas Chew didn’t give up on his quest to witness the mass spawning of corals in Singapore during a night dive. His tenacity finally paid off with an opportunity to participate in one of Earth’s spectacles of Nature!

May be a closeup
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Birth of a Coral Reef

Date May 8, 2021

Mass coral spawning is a rare natural spectacle that few have the privilege to witness. Hantu Blog volunteer, Min Hui Khoo, has been hard on the heels of this year’s mass coral spawning event.

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Waiting for a Coral Spawning

Date April 10, 2021

There are a few special times of the year, when the phases of the moon and tides align to trigger a global marine underwater phenomenon called mass coral spawning. I witnessed my first mass coral spawning in 2003. It was also at Pulau Satumu, also known as Raffles Lighthouse. We camped on the island in tents, watched as the sun set into the water, and I recall one of the divers on our team, Huang Danwei, exclaim, “Dolphins!” with fingers pointed towards the sun, and the backlit dorsal fins of at least two dolphins. I wonder if the dolphins knew about the evenings’ spectacle that was to come.

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What’s a wedgefish and why should we care?

Date March 31, 2021

Wedgefish are awesome animals, and they are much loved by anglers and biologists because they are beautiful, rare, and fascinating. Their massive dorsal fins and flattened heads may have you wondering if they are sharks or rays. I hope this post inspires you discover and appreciate our wedgefishes and participate in ensuring their long term survival in Singapore waters. This post was inspired by the 20kg smooth-nose wedgefish (Rhynchobatuslaevis) that was caught at Singapore’s Bedok Jetty on 29 March 2021.

A Whitespotted Guitarfish, Rhynchobatus australiae, at Lady Elliot Island, southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, October 2014. Source: David R / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
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New to Science, Found in Singapore

Date January 23, 2021

Phestilla fuscostriata_3
Phestilla fuscostriata by Nicholas Chew (2021)

By Nicholas Chew: I had seen some photos of an extremely cryptic nudibranch Phestilla viei by Chay Hoon over the last few months. It had superb camouflage, unlike anything I’d seen before. Mimicking the patterns and colours of the specific host coral Pavona explanulata, it blended in perfectly. I found it incredibly amazing and beautiful, and challenged myself to look for it whenever I was out diving.

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Eagle Rays in Singapore Seas

Date November 9, 2020

Eagle rays at Labrador Park, 2020.

“Where was this?” were the first questions from members of the public that appeared in my message box after I posted the above video on social media. Followed by, “what were they doing here?”

Seeing the five rays swim in formation along the seawall at Labrador Park didn’t so much as surprise me. Rather, it was so good to see them back! How fortunate are we to have had the moment captured and shared on TikTok by this fisherman. The attention that the video has received also showed how much joy can come from witnessing our LIVING seas. Our shores are not just rock and water. If we love the big stuff, we have to look after the little stuff.

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