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Searching the coast for marine life

SINGAPORE — From scooping for living specimens with a simple nylon net in the mudflats off Singapore’s coasts to peering through a high-powered microscope to determine whether a rare species is thriving in our waters once again, international and local scientists, aided by enthusiastic volunteers and students, tirelessly surveyed marine flora and fauna in the Straits of Singapore and the Southern islands over three weeks.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — From scooping for living specimens with a simple nylon net in the mudflats off Singapore’s coasts to peering through a high-powered microscope to determine whether a rare species is thriving in our waters once again, international and local scientists, aided by enthusiastic volunteers and students, tirelessly surveyed marine flora and fauna in the Straits of Singapore and the Southern islands over three weeks.

The expedition, which concluded last week, is part of the ongoing five-year Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey by the National Parks Board and the National University of Singapore’s Tropical Marine Science Institute, which has identified 30,000 specimens of interest since 2010.

Data on marine fauna are collected through scuba diving, coral brushing, hand-collecting during low tide, using specialised equipment such as dredges and otter trawls. The specimens collected are then sorted and examined, and some are preserved for record.

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