What do we have on our shores? To find out, NParks has launched a Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey!

And ordinary people too can make a difference by volunteering for this Mega Marine Survey.

Spanning three years, this huge effort aims to survey all our mudflats, intertidal areas, coral reefs and even the sea bed of Singapore!

How will the data be collected?
Field surveys of our shores provide lots of opportunities to get wet and find out what is out there. Never-done-before mudflat surveys will tell us more about what is out there.
Mega Marine Survey: Hard at work
Some of our mudflats can be very soft! Here's a 'muddiness' guide provided by Rene Ong! So be prepared to get down and dirty!
Even though it can get very muddy, it's lots of fun!
Mega Marine Survey at Sungei Api Api (21 Feb 2012)
Besides searching for animals that live in the mud, seine nets are also used to check out what fishes and other swimming animals live in the water.
Mega Marine Survey: Seine netting Sungei Mandai Besar
There will also be never-done-before trips to comprehensively sample the bottom of our sea! Here's a blog post about a typical dredging trip.
Photo by Rene Ong.
A key step in the survey is sorting: to pick out the animals from the mud and sand. As a first step, sorting happens immediately in the field. It's like a treasure hunt as we never know what we might find!
Photo by Rene Ong
More sorting and labelling goes on in the lab. Here's a blog post of a typical lab session.
Mega Marine Survey lab session (5 Sep 2011)
Photos will be taken in the field and in the lab. Experts will be needed to help identify what was seen.

Why do we need to kill the animals during the Survey? And what happens to the specimens? More details in this post and this post.

What were the major Survey activities?
There were two massive expeditions that will bring together global and local experts, volunteers and enthusiasts for an intensive survey of our northern and southern shores! The Northern Expedition was held on 15 Oct - 2 Nov 2012, while the Southern Expedition was held on 20 May-8 Jun 2013. A mini-expedition was conducted in Pulau Ubin in March 2012 to test the processes.

Who is taking part in the Survey?
To achieve this enormous effort, all those who love our marine life will be involved! Including scientists and experts from RMBR, TMSI, NUS, NTU. As well as NGOs such as Nature Society, Blue Water Volunteers and others affiliated with the Singapore Blue Plan. Ordinary people too will be welcomed to contribute in the effort!

How can ordinary people volunteer help?
Volunteers are needed for these tasks
  • Outdoor field sampling and collection, and field photography/videography: diving and non-diving (intertidal).
  • Indoor laboratory photography.
  • Indoor specimen processing: cleaning, sorting, cataloguing.
  • Indoor database and data entry support.
  • And do let us know of any other ways that you might want to help.

What will happen to the data collected?
It will go into a public national database that will be open to all. NParks will also launch an official website for the Comprehensive Marine Biodivesity Survey.

If you would like to volunteer for this survey effort, please register your interest in this form and you will be invited to join the mailing list to receive updates on the Mega Marine Survey.

Looking forward to an exciting time learning more about our shores!

More news about the Survey with lots of updates on our facebook page.
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