Best of our wild blogs: 1 Oct 17

Spectacular September at the Sisters Islands Marine Park
Sisters' Island Marine Park

Night Walk At Rifle Range Trail (29 Sep 2017)
Beetles@SG BLOG

Life History of the Ganda Dart
Butterflies of Singapore

Asian Scientist feature – Taking to TED to Champion the Cause of Clams
Mei Lin NEO

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Stench in Singapore: Johor DOE issues stop work order to damaged chemical plant

Rizalman Hammim New Straits Times 30 Sep 17;

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Department of Environment (DOE) has issued a stop work order to a chemical plant in Pasir Gudang, which was pinpointed as the source of a chemical stench which enveloped parts of northern Singapore on Monday.

DOE director Datuk Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh said the order was issued after the plant suffered a fire at one of its facilities earlier this month.

"The order will be in effect until the plant completes necessary remedial actions. We will make sure that the plant complies with the order before allowing it to resume operations," he said.

It was reported on Friday that Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) traced the source of a chemical stench that cloaked the north-eastern part of the Republic on Sept 25 to an industrial facility in Pasir Gudang.

The agency was reported as saying that it contacted the DOE for assistance after the smell was detected by distressed residents on Monday.

"The DOE… has traced the source… and is taking action against the operator," the NEA said.

On Monday, residents in Sengkang and Punggol, Singapore complained of an acrid, chemical stench that was later detected in areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Yishun, Seletar and Bishan. Thick smoke also hung over some of the affected areas, residents said.

Chemical stench: Johor issues stop-work order to Pasir Gudang plant
Straits Times 1 Oct 17;

JOHOR BARU • A chemical plant in the industrial town of Pasir Gudang that was identified as the source of a chemical stench which engulfed parts of Singapore has been issued a stop work order by the Johor Department of Environment (DOE).

"The order will be in effect until the plant completes necessary remedial actions. We will make sure that the plant complies with the order before allowing it to resume operations," the DOE director, Datuk Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh, told the New Straits Times.

He said the order was issued in the wake of a fire at the plant earlier this month.

Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) had contacted the DOE for assistance after residents complained of an acrid, chemical stench on Monday.

Complaints first poured in from residents in Sengkang and Punggol, and later in estates such as Ang Mo Kio, Yishun, Seletar and Bishan. Thick smoke also hung over some of the affected areas, residents said.

A large zone in the 311 sq km town of Pasir Gudang is dedicated to heavy industries, and fumes and pollutants have drifted to Punggol in past incidents.

The industrial estate, established in the 1990s, is a little more than 1.5km across the Strait of Johor from Punggol, and controlled burning to get rid of waste gases is a common occurrence there.

The town is home to a port, power station and petrochemical companies, and those dealing in edible oils, steel and fertiliser.

Some in Singapore affected by the stench were worried that the gas might be toxic, but the NEA has assured the public that air monitoring stations detected only low and safe levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

VOCs are chemical compounds that easily enter the air.

Chemical stench incident: Johor Department of Environment issues stop work order to damaged chemical plant
Straits Times 30 Sep 17;

JOHOR BARU - The chemical plant in Pasir Gudang that was identified as the source of a chemical stench that engulfed parts of Singapore on Monday has been issued a stop work order by the Johor Department of Environment (DOE).

DOE director Datuk Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh told The New Straits Times that the order was issued in the wake of a fire at the plant earlier this month.

"The order will be in effect until the plant completes necessary remedial actions. We will make sure that the plant complies with the order before allowing it to resume operations," he said.

Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) had contacted the DOE for assistance after the smell was detected by distressed residents on Monday. Subsequently, the foul odour was traced to the industrial facility in Pasir Gudang.

"The DOE… has traced the source… and is taking action against the operator," the NEA said.

Residents in Sengkang and Punggol had complained of an acrid, chemical stench that was later detected in areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Yishun, Seletar and Bishan. Thick smoke also hung over some of the affected areas, according to some residents.

Johor chemical plant that caused 'burning smell' in Singapore issued stop work order
Channel NewsAsia 30 Sep 17;

JOHOR BARU: A stop work order has been issued to a chemical plant in Pasir Gudang after it was pinpointed as the source of a strong burning smell that residents in many parts of Singapore complained about on Monday.

Malaysian news outlet New Straits Times reported on Saturday (Sep 30) that the Johor Department of Environment (DOE) issued the order after a fire broke out at one of the plant's facilities earlier this month.

DOE director Dr Mohammed Ezanni Mat Salleh said that the order will be in effect until the plant has completed necessary remedial actions.

"We will make sure that the plant complies with the order before allowing it to resume operations," he added.

On Friday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said the strong smell had been traced to an industrial facility in Pasir Gudang. The agency said that it was working together with the DOE in the investigation.

Reports of the burning smell also led NEA to conduct checks on Singapore's industrial plants, but they were found to be operating normally. Air quality levels also remained "within safety limits", the agency said.

Stop work order issued to chemical plant responsible for stench in Singapore
ASYRAF KAMIL Today Online 30 Sep 17;

SINGAPORE – The Johor Department of Environment (DOE) has on Saturday (Sept 30) issued a stop work order to a chemical plant in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, which was pinpointed as the source of a chemical stench that enveloped parts of northern Singapore last Monday.

According to Malaysian daily New Straits Times, Johor DOE director Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh said the order was issued after the plant suffered a fire at one of its facilities earlier this month.

"The order will be in effect until the plant completes necessary remedial actions. We will make sure that the plant complies with the order before allowing it to resume operations," he told reporters.

The plant was already the subject of an investigation over the gas-like smell that plagued parts of northern Singapore last week.

Together with the Johor DOE, the NEA had identified the plant as the source of the stench. “(The DOE) is taking action against the operator,” the Singapore agency said in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Friday.

Complaints about the odour appeared on the online forums such as Reddit and Hardware Zone last Monday evening. Many netizens said that the smell appeared to be largely confined to the North-Eastern parts of Singapore in areas like Sengkang, Hougang, Buangkok and Ang Mo Kio.

Checks by the NEA and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on factories in affected areas had failed to find any anomalies that could have caused the gas smell.

The NEA then decided to enlist the help of its Malaysian counterparts to investigate further.

Similar complaints have surfaced in the past.

In 2013, there were complaints of a "foul odour" in Punggol and Sengkang. An NEA spokesman then said that the smell could have possibly "emanated from palm oil industries".

NEA however ruled out industries near Punggol as the cause of the smell, after inspections of their equipment, processes, operations and records "did not reveal any abnormalities or issues in their operations" that could be behind the "chemical smell as mentioned in the feedback".

Related link
Fire at Lotte facilities in Johor

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500kg of trash collected in event to tackle litter in waterways

Calvin Yang Straits Times 30 Sep 17;

SINGAPORE - Children's toys, food wrappers, plastic containers, water bottles and even motorcycle helmets.

These are some of the trash collected during a three-hour clean-up of Singapore's waters on Saturday (Sept 30) morning.

About 500kg of rubbish was collected by about 100 volunteers, comprising students and members of the public, who ventured out in groups on kayaks to collect trash between Sembawang Beach and Seletar Island.

The Clean-Up on Kayak event, organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), aims to raise awareness of the need to protect Singapore's marine environment. It was held in conjunction with the International Coastal Clean-up, an annual global event to encourage people to remove trash from beaches and waterways.

Besides those who were on kayaks, some 20 volunteers were stationed on Seletar Island to sort the marine litter and record the types of trash collected.

Data gathered from the clean-up will be submitted to United States-based advocacy group Ocean Conservancy for further analysis and research.

The initiative started last year, with about 60 volunteers participating in it then.

Trash collected from Singapore's waters on Sept 30, 2017

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said keeping waterways clean is a shared responsibility.

He also encouraged more ground-up efforts from the community to do their part for marine environment sustainability.

MPA has plans for the Clean-Up on Kayak activity to be done on a quarterly, instead of annual, basis. For a start, Republic Polytechnic (RP) will conduct a session in March next year.

Second-year RP outdoor and adventure learning student Aqil Luqman Zamberi, 19, who participated in the clean-up on Saturday, said such an activity goes a long way in keeping the environment clean.

"Every effort that we make to improve something has impact. It is better to do something about it than let it get worse," he added.

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Malaysia: Thunderstorms and strong winds expected until November

C. Premananthini New Straits Times 30 Sep 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: With the Southwest Monsoon season being in its final phase, Malaysia will soon experience a monsoon transition, beginning October.

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, when the transition begins thunderstorms and strong winds are expected to occur in the evening.

Its director-general Alui Bahari, when contacted, said the transition period will continue until November this year.

“As of now, the southwest monsoon season is in its final period. Several states in the country will be experiencing heavy downpour.

“This is because of continuous strong winds coming from the Andaman Sea which carries a high content of water vapor, therefore you would see a marked increase in rainfall above average and states in the northern peninsula will face heavy rains.

“Also, in the mid-Sept there were slight changes in the weather forecast pattern where Typhoon Doksuri which occurred in Vietnam, had affected the wind patterns, bringing rain to the northern peninsula,” he said.

He said in September, Chuping Meteorological station recorded the highest amount of rainfall sinc 1995 with 389.3mm.

He said thuderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds over states of Perlis, Kedah (Langkawi, Kubang Pasu and Kota Setar districts), Negri Sembilan (Port Dickson district), Melaka and Johor (Tangkak, Muar and Batu Pahat districts) are expected to persist until late morning.

Monsoon transition period until early November
Bernama New Straits Times 5 Oct 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will go through a monsoon transition period from tomorrow until November.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department said this normally leads to localised heavy rain and thunder storms in a short period of time with frequent strong winds especially in the afternoon until early night.

According to a statement from the department today, most of the districts in the west coast states and interiors of the peninsular, west coast of Sabah and central Sarawak would be affected.

“The public have been advised to be more alert about the impact of frequent thunderstorms during the monsoon transition period such as heavy rain, strong winds and lightning,” the statement said. — BERNAMA

Met warns of strong winds and thunderstorms till Nov
The Star 5 Oct 17;

PETALING JAYA: Strong winds and heavy rain are expected as Malaysia experiences a monsoon transition.

The Malaysian Meteorology Department advised the public to be cautious as the country enters a monsoon transition phase from Oct 6 until early November.

"During this period, regional areas of our country will experience light winds from various directions," its director-general Alui Bahari said in a statement Thursday.

"Typically, heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected to occur at short intervals, and strong winds can occur more often during the late afternoons and evenings in most areas of the west coast, interior of the peninsula, west coast of Sabah, and the western and central parts of Sarawak," he said.

Alui advised the public to be "more careful" during the thunderstorms that occur during the monsoon transition phase that will result in heavy rain, strong winds, and lightning.

The latest weather information can be obtained through the Malaysia Meteorological Department Facebook or Twitter page, its website, mobile application myCuaca, or Hotline at 1-300-22-1638.

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Malaysia: Tapir strays into Seremban housing area

Nur Aqidah Azizi New Straits Times 30 Sep 17;

SEREMBAN: The presence of a Tapir, believed to have been lost has shocked the residents of Taman PJ Perdana here, last night, which had prompted them to seek help from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN).

It's resident association chairman, Datuk Mazlan Sabli said, the presence of the protected wildlife was noticed by the residents at about 10pm.

"This is the second time the animal has entered the housing area after the first incident occurred last week. We believe it could have been lost from a nearby forest area," he said.

He added, the animal was aggressive, probably due to an injury spotted on its foot.

"It had also damaged the resident's fence when it crashed into it in its effort to escape from the area," he said.

Mazlan said, the residents then contacted PERHILITAN for further action.

"However, the Perhilitan team hasn't been able to capture the animal and it is believed that it has run back into the nearby forest," he said.

Meanwhile, when contacted, state Perhilitan director Wan Mat Wan Harun said the department will continue its operation to trace the tapir today.

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Malaysia: Dept to go after turtle egg buyers too

The Star 1 Oct 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Stop buying and eating turtle eggs or face being fined or imprisoned, the people in Sabah’s east coast Sandakan district are warned.

Sandakan Wildlife officer Hussien Muin said they have launched Ops Pembeli against buyers of turtle eggs, in view of the continuous demands for the illegal items.

“We have conducted many raids and operations against illegal turtle egg traders and not much on buyers,” he said.

So now, apart from the illegal traders, the authorities would also be coming down hard on purchasers because they were still buying despite numerous warnings and advice, he said.

Hussien said those found in possession of turtle eggs could be fined at least RM50,000 or up to RM250,000.

They could also be jailed between one and five years for the offence under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, he said.

Hussien said Ops Pembeli was a continuation from the earlier Ops Penjual which targeted traders and was conducted throughout August.

The ongoing operations against this illegal trade are not deterring sellers and smugglers. The demand for turtle eggs is still very high, he added.

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Malaysia: ‘Semporna becoming a killing field for sea turtles’

muguntan vanar The Star 1 Oct 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Conservation­ists fear that Sabah’s diving havens of Semporna are becoming a killing field for endangered sea turtles.

The growing number of sea turtle carcasses found over the years has raised concerns that the harvesting of the marine creatures for traditional medicinal values has gone unabated.

Environmental NGO Green Sem­porna co-founder Adzmin Fatta said firm action needed to be taken against perpetrators of the crime, which is occurring not only in Semporna waters but also in neighbouring southern Philippines.

“Since 2014, we have been receiving reports of large numbers of turtle carcasses found on the Ligitan, Bum Bum and Derawan islands.

“We know where it is taking place but it is a question of enforcement.

“It is definitely some kind of organised syndicate which is getting people in the transient coastal communities to do the killings,” he said in reference to the large number of Bajau Laut (sea gypsies) in the area.

“We believe that some businessmen are paying for the turtle parts.”

He added that in most cases, the turtle meat and plastron (lower shell) were removed from carcasses.

Adzmin said all enforcement agencies should work together to step up monitoring of the activities on the harvesters and the islands they operated from.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforce­ment Agency has from time to time caught some of those involved in the killings of turtles, but there is a need for more combined action with other agencies, including the Sabah Wildlife Department, he added.

He said the Wildlife Department should set up an office in Semporna to increase its presence in the area as currently it was operating from Tawau, about 100km away.

Adzmin said Green Semporna had been actively conducting public awareness among islanders and coastal villagers in Semporna but many like the Bajau Laut might be drawn by the money offered by towkays to harvest turtles.

Come up with alternative food source for maritime community in exchange of turtle meat, eggs, group tells Awang Ali Omar New Straits Times 30 Sep 17;

SANDAKAN: The government needs to provide the maritime community with alternative food sources if it wants to tackle consumption of turtle meat and eggs as well as poaching activity.

Friends of Sea Turtles Education and Research (Foster) president Alexander Yee said turtles have been the source of food among the locals in Semporna for the longest time.

“If we want to solve the problem, we not only have to put in place the rules, regulations and enforcement but we need to be able to educate the locals and have substitute food sources for them.

“If we tell them not to consume (turtle meats and eggs), what are they going eat? Everything (education, rules, regulations, and enforcement) has to run concurrently.

“The recent discovery (of mutilated turtles on Pulau Bum Bum) is a sad incident but we just have to keep trying. We need to have all those things in place to reduce this incident,” he said when contacted.

In providing his view on the case, Yee who has a turtle hatchery on Libaran Island off Sandakan, believed the turtles were poached by locals or Pala’u nomads for own consumption and for sale.

“My source said the meat has been dug out and the pouch where the turtle eggs are stored is also emptied. However, I’m not sure whether it (turtle) has decayed and that’s why it looks as if the internal (of the turtle) is empty.

“It’s quite obvious they are after the meat and eggs for consumption because the turtle shell is worth a lot of money. They did not take that.

“It could be that they took some (meat and eggs) for themselves and sold the rest but we wouldn’t know. I suspect they are also selling them because of the number of turtles found,” he said.

To a question whether the turtles were caught in local or neighbouring waters, Yee said it did not matter as all endangered turtles needed to be protected.

He explained turtles that nest in the Philippine are known to nest over in Sabah waters too.

“Turles don’t look for a particular area to nest. I know this for a fact because of my hatchery on Libaran Island. I have had turtles being tagged on Selingan (Turtle Island) and landing on Libaran.

“There are also turtles tagged in the Philippine and landed on Libaran. So they don’t roam specific areas,” stressed Yee.

Meanwhile, district wildlife officer Hussien Muin, in a statement, said their enforcement unit would carry out special operations dubbed Op Penjual and Op Pembeli aggressively to tackle the selling and buying of turtle eggs.

In continuation of the Op Penjual, which was initiated last month and saw three foreigners sentenced to imprisonment for selling turtle eggs, Op Pembeli was launched to discourage egg consumption.

“We are working closely with the police, Sandakan Municipal Council, Public Works Department and WWF to continue instil strong awareness on the long-term impact if turtle egg consumption is not tackled,” he said.

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Malaysia: Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 may be amended to make killing fully protected animals a strict liability offence

AVILA GERALDINE New Straits Times 30 Sep 17;

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry is considering amending the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 to make the killing of fully protected animals as a strict liability offence.

If approved, the burden of proof will be on the accused to substantiate that he or she did not commit the crime.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the normal law of evidence in criminal law at the moment is the prosecutors have to prove an accused has committed a wrongdoing.

“We are looking into the possibility to amend the law and we will consult with our legal officers and the Attorney-General if it’s possible.

“With the amendment, it means the accused will have to prove he didn’t kill it (endangered wildlife animal) because at this point of time, the prosecutors have to come up with evidence to prove a person is guilty and this is not easy,” he told reporters when met at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

“There are cases within plantation areas where no single person is willing to become a witness despite the police going there (to look for witnesses). Therefore, we are proposing to make such offence a strict liability to make it easier for the prosecutors to prove their case,” he explained.

Masidi said the proposed legislation was among the aspects discussed by the relevant departments under his ministry during a special meeting yesterday in light of the recent poaching of endangered Bornean pygmy elephants and turtles.

He reiterated, the ministry was taking wildlife poaching seriously and they had come up with several resolutions to curb these crimes.

“I’ve directed my permanent secretary (Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai) to call for a high level meeting with the top officers in the Sabah Wildlife. The (wildlife department) director (Augustine Tuuga) has briefed us of the challenges and they had done their best within their means to tackle (wildlife poaching).

“First and foremost, the department has insufficient assets and manpower so we have decided they should work hand in hand with Sabah Parks as well as the Sabah Forestry Department.

“We are also looking at reshuffling the whole organisation to address issues based on priority. If enforcement is the priority, sections that can survive with less staff will have to mobilise some of the employees to other enforcement sections that need the most support,” said Masidi.

He stressed the ministry would present a cabinet paper to the state government, requesting for more creation of posts particularly in the enforcement unit of Sabah Wildlife Department so it is in a better position to tackle the issue.

On Thursday, WWF-Malaysia urged the state government to allocate more funds to hire and train more rangers on the ground as their constant and tactical presence is a deterrent to poachers.

This follows the recent killing of an adult male Bornean pygmy elephant in Kinabatangan, where poachers not only cut off its tusks but also chopped off its left leg and sliced off its skin before dumping the carcass into a river.

Another recent wildlife poaching incident involved the mutilation of eight green turtles on Pulau Bum Bum off Semporna.

In the event, wildlife experts believed the Pala’u nomads were responsible and that they could have collected the plastrons (shells) to be sold for medicinal purposes.

Masidi said the department is still investigating the matter, adding in all cases of turtle poaching the plastrons have gone missing.

Wan Junaidi: 'Hunt animal poachers down'
The Star 1 Oct 17;

PETALING JAYA: No effort must be spared in bringing the wildlife poachers behind the senseless killings of Bornean pygmy elephants and turtles to justice, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).

"The Ministry strongly urges the Sabah Wildlife Department and other agencies in Sabah to work tirelessly to find the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against our turtles and other wildlife as soon as possible," the Natural Resources and Environment Minister said in a statement on Saturday.

Dr Wan Junaidi said he was appalled by and condemned the blatant lack of regard for the welfare of turtles by unscrupulous groups of people living in Sabah's coastal areas.

It was reported that two pygmy elephants had been killed for its tusks and hundreds of sea turtle carcasses found on Pulau Bum Bum in the Semporna district.

He said the recent find of turtle remains in the sea near Pulau Bum Bum was "deeply saddening", as was the killing of pygmy elephants.

"Their (pygmy elephants) tusks are brutally cut off and the poor animals were left to die a slow and painful death in the rivers and forests of Kinabatangan and Tawau," he said.

Dr Wan Junaidi said the Ministry, through its Biodiversity and Forestry Management Division, was ready and willing to offer any assistance to the Sabah Wildlife Department to catch and punish these criminals.

He added that the Ministry was committed to preserving the nation's land and marine wildlife.

"It is a testament to our level of civilisation when we are able to live in harmony with the flora and fauna in our country, which have every right to exist on earth as we humans do," he said.

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Why Buddhist ‘fangsheng’ mercy release rituals can be more cruel than kind

The case of two London Buddhists fined for releasing crustaceans into the sea has thrown the spotlight on a ritual that involves hundreds of millions of wild animals – and a huge industry built around their capture and supply
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian 25 Sep 17;

It was intended as a Buddhist act of mercy and compassion, but ended in a criminal conviction and significant environmental risk. The release of hundreds of alien lobsters and crabs into the sea off Brighton has highlighted the perils of a ritual that takes kindness to animals too far.

Two London Buddhists, Zhixiong Li, 30, and Ni Li, 33, pleaded guilty last week at Brighton magistrates court to breaking the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 by releasing non-native species into the wild, causing “untold damage” to marine life. The pair were ordered to pay a total of more than £28,000 in fines and compensation.

They, along with more than 100 other Buddhists, were taking part in a rite known as fangsheng, or “life release”, as the highlight of a visit to the UK of Taiwanese Buddhist master Hai Tao two years ago. The group hired three boats from Brighton marina, emptied their load into the sea a mile off the coast and returned to shore – presumably full of good karma.

The ritual dates back to the third century, but has seen a resurgence in recent years. Hai Tao, a champion of animal rights, advocates fangsheng – saving the lives of creatures destined for slaughter – as a way for Buddhists to demonstrate compassion, create good fortune and earn merit.

According to Humane Society International (HSI), hundreds of millions of birds, fish, monkeys, turtles and other animals are involved in acts of fangsheng every year. But these days, it says, “mercy release has become an industry built on the capture and supply of wild animals, for whom there are devastating consequences of injury, illness or death”. In Taiwan alone, 200 million wild animals are used every year in release rituals, according to HSI in 2012. Fangsheng is also practiced in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Nepal, the United States and the UK.

The organisation says many animals are fatally injured in the ritual, and those that survive release often die soon afterwards from exhaustion, injury or disease, or else become prey to other species. Some are re-captured after the ritual and re-sold. Release can also cause environmental harm, it adds. Animals “may be released outside their natural habitats and in groups large enough to establish breeding populations, often wreaking havoc on local ecosystems. Some are invasive species that may threaten the survival of the native species.”

A few days after the fangsheng ritual off the south coast of the UK, a Brighton fisherman was puzzled to find non-native lobsters and crabs among his catch. He alerted the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which chartered boats and offered local fishermen a £20-a-head bounty for every alien crustacean they captured. But only 323 out of a total of more than 700 were recovered, and there was evidence some lobsters had begun breeding in their new home.

Still, the Brighton incident is far from the worst case of fangsheng gone wrong. In 2012, followers of Hai Tao released hundreds of snakes in a mountainous area of Taiwan not native to them, leaving locals to deal with regular house visits from the serpents. “Releasing captive animals is good practice, but releasing snakes into the wild hurts society and contravenes the intention of mercy,” Hai Tao said at the time.

In comparison, dumping a few stray crabs and lobsters really does seem merciful.

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