Hantu on the Rebound?

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After the coral bleaching and quiet reef experiences from the last few dives, it may look like the season is beginning to turn, with seemingly cooler waters and more reef life being spotted by our divers. The visibility has also appreciated, allowing a few of us to wander off into the deep to explore the depths that are usually shrouded in the shadow of the silt. Above: A school of Yellow-tail barracuda hang out on the reef flat.

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There were many nudibranchs out to dazzle our divers.

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Several Orange-spotted pipefish joined us during the dive.

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There was even a Blue-spotted fan tail ray. Divers also sighted one last weekend.

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There were also a bunch of pretty little Allied cowries on gorgonian sea fans. I tried looking out for them on soft coral but didn’t spot any this time.

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We managed to find some critters on crinoids though! Some crinoids had shrimp, but this one (above) had a crab. There were a few of them but they were extremely difficult to photograph, mostly because the crinoid was very shy and uncooperative, wrapping up its arms into a ball. Who could blame them, we bothered them during their slumber! Crinoids tend to be more active at night.

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During a part of the dive, I was accompanied by a very curious Seagrass filefish.

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It came rather close…

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Really close…

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A pair of Copperbanded butterflyfish busy feeding on coral polyps paid the divers no attention and continued to “graze” as we swam over them.

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There were Icon seastars and cushion stars. I inspected the cushion star, looking for a commensal but didn’t find any!

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There were more of these Acoel flatworms. I wonder what conditions might make their population prosper or decline.

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There were other flatworms more commonly found on our reef. The one of the left was really, super tiny.

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Very unfortunately, it seems like a company has chosen the reef of Pulau Hantu to discard its industrial waste. This is very sad. I counted at least five 20-litre paint buckets, some still half filled with paint. The paint had poured out of the buckets and flowed downwards over part of the reef.

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There was also a massive ream of reinforcing bar. You can compare the size of it with the SCUBA diver holding the torch to the left of the picture. It was huge!

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More paint buckets…

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There were also several boxes of nails. The boxes have begun to disintegrate, leaving the rusty nails in an open pile on the reef.

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Another pile of nails and more construction material in a plastic bag. When I first heard about this from divers last week, it sounded like it might have been an accident, but after seeing how much was discarded onto one section of the reef, it is evident that this material had been dumped there. Our skipper informed us that he had seem people working on the jetty, doing touch ups and repainting. Could they have been the ones that dumped the material there? This is very irresponsible behavior. I wonder if SDC, the company that manages Hantu Island, is aware of this.

The Hantu Blog is in discussion with a few individuals to see how we may be able to remove or relocate the material. At the moment, the rebar is located along the reef slope, it’s heavy but can still potentially slide down the reef and cause further damage.

To see more photos from this dive, visit the Hantu Blog Gallery.

1 thought on “Hantu on the Rebound?”

  1. If there is a removal of the items, best to alert SDC and MPA of the collection so that they can safekeep it for their investigations.

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