Frogfish at Pulau Hantu!

Date July 28, 2013

Last weekend, divers were treated to a rare find at Pulau Hantu – a frogfish!

We occasionally spot these cryptic critters on Hantu reefs, and in the intertidal areas as well. The individual above was from 2008.

There have also been orange-coloured frogfish sighted at Pulau Hantu. When we Tweeted about this live from out dive boat last Sunday, several comments on our Facebook Page made it clear that many were surprised to hear of these fish occurring on our shores! Frogfish are usually associated with reefs in exotic locations, so I guess, you can now consider Pulau Hantu a pretty exotic location too!

Divers also sighted several Glossodoris atromarginata, Pterolina ianthania, Hypselodoris bullocki, and Phyllidia nudibranchs, Blue-spotted fan-tail rays, Orange-spotted pipefish (one of which was heavily pregnant with a belly pouch full of babies!), magical Silver moonies, Goldenback fusiliers, razorfish, Butterfly whiptails, basslets, Fan-bellied filefish, Speckled goatfish, a cryptic Sargassum frogfish, and so much more! There were also sea birds like Brahminy kites, White-bellied sea eagles, Collared kingfishers, and Little terns! Was also nice to see that many of the coral that we saw bleached two weeks ago appear to have recovered from the bleaching!

On the down side, there was a lot of entangled mono-filament fishing line that had tangled with the macro algae, sponges and plate corals. We spent a good portion of our first dive carefully and slowly removing these tangled lines, taking care not to tug too hard or fast to avoid breaking or dislodging the coral. Unfortunately, the fishing lines that get tangled and discarded on the reef add up every week. It is important that recreational anglers along our coasts and islands are made aware of the massive damage these seemingly benign lines can have on our reefs. These lines take an extremely long time to degrade and go on to tangle and trap marine life throughout their life span in the ocean. These lines are so durable that they can even snare crocodiles! Find out more about how fishing lines are endangering wildlife and people.

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