Singapore’s National Parks Board said today that it will put up more educational signs and step up on patrols to curb beachgoers from digging up marine life from the shores.
The board, also known as NParks, said that it was concerned about the foraging of marine life at Changi Beach on Sunday, which coincided with the month-long school break. Videos of the foragers picking up buckets full of crabs and clams, among others, drew criticism from nature lovers, as well as fears of further restrictions.
“We are concerned by the large number of visitors over the weekend to the intertidal area in Changi Beach, and the collection of shellfish and other invertebrates,” said Ryan Lee, the board’s Group Director of the National Biodiversity Centre. “The unusually large number of visitors was probably because the low day tides coincided with the school break over the weekend.”
He added: “As such, NParks will intensify our outreach efforts to educate the public to care for the sensitive marine life in intertidal areas. More signage will be put up, and we will step up patrols by our staff and stakeholders including nature groups and other volunteers.”
The board plans to educate the public on the “detrimental effects of touching, collecting or trampling” on marine life, it said. The school holiday started in end-May.
Invertebrates are neither protected under the Wildlife Act nor the Parks and Trees Act, which only prohibits the collection of invertebrates in places such as Sisters’ Islands Marine Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Labrador Nature Reserve’s rocky shore and the Chek Jawa Wetlands on Pulau Ubin. Violators face fines of up to S$50,000 (US$37,686) each.
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