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.
There were many nudibranchs out to dazzle our divers.
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.
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.
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.