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ReefX

Citizen Science Expedition

@mjsphotostudios

PARTICIPATE IN LOCAL MARINE CONSERVATION

ReefX is an initiative for recreational scuba divers to contribute towards local reef conservation work in Singapore. On our expeditions, you will get involved with every aspect, from measuring sea cucumbers and recording depths of fish, to taking ID shots (maybe even creating a new biodiversity record!) and helping us input the data for the researchers. Through this experience, you will be undertaking first-hand marine conservation work.

The observational and baseline data we collect will offer a glimpse into long-term patterns and seasonal trends of marine life activities in Singapore's waters, and will go towards National Parks Board (NParks) knowledge base. Our divers are critical to the success of our monitoring programme, and the protection of our reefs.

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BIOBLITZ

Designed in consultation with NParks and NUS researchers, all new ReefX divers will be trained in Bioblitz, a beginner's survey method that will require divers to identify as many species as possible within a designated survey site and time period, documented through photography or videography. We will also be recording size, depth, behaviour, coral health, and conditions like visibility and currents. 

 

All data collected from ReefX will go towards NParks marine database to improve their knowledge base and management of dive sites. Marine Stewards will also be adding the data to our marine resource, a growing collection of Singapore’s marine biodiversity often referred to by local seasporters

CORALS

  • Brain corals (Lobophylliidae)

  • Bubble corals (Euphylliidae)

  • Pore corals (Poritidae)

  • Mushroom corals (Fungidae

  • Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora)

  • Cave corals and Disc corals DendrophylliidaeTable and Staghorn corals (Acropora)

  • Anemone corals (Goniopora)

Fish

FISH

  • Damselfishes (Pomacentridae)

  • Wrasses (Labridae)

  • Copperband butterflyfish (Chelomon rostratus)

  • Vermiculated angelfish (Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus)

  • Groupers (Serranidae)

  • Snappers (Lutjanidae)

  • Scads and Trevallies (Carangidae)

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NUDIS

  • Black-margined nudibranch

  • Lined-chromodoris nudibranch

  • Bohol nudibranch

  • Blue dragon nudibranch

  • Polka dot nudibranch

  • Purple foot nudibranch

  • Melibe nudibranch

  • and...Shaun the Sheep!

Subaquatic Life

OTHER INVERTEBRATES

  • Cuttlefish

  • Seafans

  • Crabs

  • Sea cucumbers

  • Seastars

  • Sea urchins

OUR SURVEY SITES

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SURVEY SITE #1:

Pulau Hantu

Pulau Hantu, known in local folklore as Ghost Island, is located in the southern shores of Singapore. Accessible by a thirty-minute boat ride, the island is a favourite with macro photographers.

ReefX has selected Pulau Hantu as our first survey site to collect long term monitoring data, which will be used to inform NParks management of the dive site and marine conservation policies, with the hopes that Pulau Hantu can remain the favourite dive site of Singapore underwater residents.

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St. John's Island
(Bendera Bay)

SURVEY SITE #2:

Located on the eastern part of St John’s Island, Bendera Bay spans 3.9-hectares consisting of coral, mangrove, seagrass, sandy shore and rocky shore habitats.

Since it was officially opened on 13 December 2020, various projects have taken place including a seagrass research project by NUS and a dive clean up by Our Singapore Reefs.

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Pulau Semakau

SURVEY SITE #3:

Pulau Semakau is one of the larger southern islands of Singapore, lying approximately 8km south of Singapore.

Semakau is also the first and only remaining offshore landfill in Singapore. The Semakau Landfill which receives only incinerated ash and construction and renovation debris was commissioned in 1999 by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and covered a sea area of 350 ha forecasted to meet the country’s waste disposal needs beyond 2030.

EXPEDITIONS

Click below tabs to learn 4 parts of the expeditions.

Reef Ecology, Marine Fauna and Bioblitz Photography
(E-Learning Theory Session)

The lecture aims to introduce students to coral reef ecology and how to generally identify key biotic and abiotic components of the reef.

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Expediton Timetabe

2024 EXPEDITIONS TIMETABLE

Survey
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Survey Site
Semakau
ADEX*
Hantu
Semakau
TBD
Theory Session
E-Learning
E-Learning
E-Learning
Survey Dive
02 Mar, 12-5pm
04 May, 12-5pm
08 Jun, 12-5pm
Data Review
07 Mar, 8pm
09 May, 8pm
13 Jun, 8pm
Data Input
22 Mar
24 May
28 Jun

*Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) Singapore 12-14 April 2024 Suntec Convention Centre

Survey
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Survey Site
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
N/A
Theory Session
Survey Dive
Data Review
Data Input

Upon successful survey completion, ​

  • Divers who demonstrate aptitude will be invited for future survey dives, subject to availability of spots on the expedition. 

Programme fees are an important part of helping to keep Marine Stewards in operation. These fees go towards covering the boat and tank rentals on two dive days, allowances for our guides, data storage and management, and programme-related expenses around administrative, logistics and accounts work. We hope divers understand that ReefX is a long term effort and committed individuals are encouraged to return on a regular basis to conduct survey dives. As such programme fees include a one-year Marine Stewards membership and a limited edition Marine Stewards trucker cap. 

WHO IS IT FOR?

Being a ReefX diver will transform your local diving experience. Our programme allows you to get hands-on with underwater data collection, deepen your understanding of marine conservation and biodiversity, whilst meeting other fellow conservation divers. We are looking for enthusiastic, nature-loving people who are not afraid of the hard work!

 

We welcome people of all talents, ages and nationalities, it is through this diversity that makes our expeditions so special and successful. 

Marine Stewards has a responsibility to minimise negative impacts on local environments when conducting our work. Due to the challenging underwater conditions in local Singapore waters, we have revised the minimum requirements especially for local logged dives to ensure safety and that no reefs are harmed in the process of underwater data collection.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Advanced Open Water certification and above

  • Minimum 30 total logged dives

  • Minimum 2 local logged dives in Singapore waters in the past 1 year (ie logged within 2023)

  • Bring your own / rented underwater camera 

  • Bring your own / rented diving gear

 

ReefX divers naturally represent and serve as ambassadors of Marine Stewards, and it is the divers’ responsibility to bring their best self to the work, to the people, and to the reefs.


REEFRESHER
PROGRAMME

Certified ReefX Guides who are dive Instructors may be referred to teach Refresher, a two-dive ReefX refresher course in local waters for Advanced Open Water divers and above who do not have 30 total dives and/or 2 local dives logged within the year.

 

  • On the first dive, divers are refreshed on Peak Performance Buoyancy, frog-kick technique, safety and navigation.

  • The second dive will focus on spotting and photography of marine life. Contact ReefX reps at reefx@marinestewards.org if you are interested to discuss.

LAND VOLUNTEERS

If you are not a diver, no problem! We welcome people of all skill sets, backgrounds, ages and nationalities, with a shared love for marine conservation, strong work ethics and a can-do attitude, to join our land-based team! You can be given the opportunity to get hands-on with expedition planning, data recording, publicity and events, scientific support, and safety protocols. You may also get to join us on some dives, subject to space and funding availability. Visit our Volunteer Programme for more information and how to sign up.

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