Best of our wild blogs: 28 Feb 19

Discover your natural heritage with Love MacRitchie walks, Jan – Jun 2019

Shore exploration for kids with Young Nautilus
Celebrating Singapore Shores!

Great day at Chek Jawa on a Saturday morning
Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

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Local barramundi farm scales up with $2 million nursery extension

Cheryl Teh Straits Times 27 Feb 19;

SINGAPORE - Local barramundi farm Barramundi Asia has scaled up its operations with a new $2 million extension to its nursery.

With this extension, the farm expects to increase its fish production threefold to almost 1.8 million fish fry a year.

That will bring the farm's expected yield to 6,000 tonnes of fish yearly, which is more than what Singapore's 120 fish farms produced in 2018.

The nursery, located in the south of Singapore on Pulau Semakau, now has 1,200 sq m more space and the addition of eight giant 50 cubic m tanks.

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MPs ask for easy access to data and a Climate Change Act

CYNTHIA CHOO Today Online 27 Feb 19;

SINGAPORE — Members of Parliament (MPs) called for clearer communication of policies and more support for those with mental health issues on the second day of the Budget 2019 debate on Wednesday (Feb 27).

Over six hours, 25 Members of Parliament (MPs) — including Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Minister of State (Manpower and National Development) Zaqy Mohamad — spoke on the Budget, which was delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat last week.

The MPs raised wide-ranging issues such as the rising cost of living, providing more support to women and a proposal to ban streaming in secondary schools.

“Health” was the most frequently cited word during the second day of the Budget debate, coming up 157 times. This was followed by “work” and “help”, which were mentioned 81 and 77 times, respectively.

The MPs raised wide-ranging issues such as the rising cost of living, providing more support to women and a proposal to ban streaming in secondary schools.

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Second Johor hotspot detected; fires could bring 'some smell and haze' to Singapore: NEA

Channel NewsAsia 27 Feb 19;

SINGAPORE: Another hotspot has been detected in Johor about 50km to the east-northeast of Singapore, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (Feb 27).

Smoke from the hotspot, which was detected on Tuesday, was blown southwest by prevailing northeasterly winds, the agency said, adding that it had received feedback from members of the public that day about a burning smell across many areas of Singapore.

In its update, NEA also said that the hotspot detected earlier this week 30km east of Singapore was due to a fire at an oil palm plantation in Johor.

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Malaysia: With drying rivers, Sabah has just two months of water reserves

Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 27 Feb 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Water reserves at Sabah’s major dams are at a comfortable 80 per cent – but with eight major rivers having plunged to their critical levels, and another nine to their alert levels, the state has only two months of water supply remaining.

State Water Department director Amarjit Singh said that overall water storage levels at major dams in Sandakan, Kudat, Penampang, Tamparuli, Semporna and Lahad Datu are relatively high – but with depleted rivers at critical levels amidst the ongoing heatwave, the dams’ water supplies are not being replenished.

Residents of several areas are already grappling with water shortages and dry faucets.

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Malaysia: Gebeng fire claims 60ha

nik naizi husin The Star 28 Feb 19;

KUANTAN: A fire is raging across some 60ha of land in the Gebeng industrial area and threatening to spread further as alerts go up around the country in the face of a heatwave.

The scorching hot weather is expected to last until the end of next month.

State Fire and Rescue Department director Nor Hisham Mohammad said firemen from the Gebeng station, with the cooperation from the Gebeng Emergency Mutual Aid team, were on standby round the clock to put out the fire and control it from spreading.

Nor Hisham said so far, only 20% of the affected area had been put out and they had requested aerial assistance from headquarters for the operation.

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Malaysia seizes 3,300 rare turtles in suspected trafficking case

Reuters 27 Feb 19;

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian authorities seized about 3,300 rare pig-nosed turtles on Wednesday suspected of being smuggled into the Southeast Asian country.

The turtles, found in Australia and on the Indonesian island of Papua, are endangered due to high demand from exotic pet traders, wildlife experts said.

Seven packages of turtles were discovered during a boat inspection near Johor on Malaysia’s southern coast, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said in a statement, adding that two people were arrested.

The value of the seized turtles was estimated at 150,000 ringgit ($36,909), the agency said.

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