Nature lover tells woman off for trying to remove sea anemone from Sisters' Island Marine Park seabed

The woman was armed with a bucket.

Ashley Tan | January 03, 2021, 04:08 PM

A local outdoor travel agency in Singapore has taken to Facebook to make a public service announcement: do not remove any marine life from a marine park.

Was "stubborn" about removing the anemone

SGTrek Expeditions & Adventures shared about an incident that occurred at Sisters' Island Marine Park on Dec. 31.

The SGTrek staff stated that they spotted a group of people huddling around a sea anemone at the lagoon, when a woman suddenly appeared with a bucket.

Photo from SGTrek Expeditions & Adventures / FB

The guide said they noticed something was amiss, and realised that the woman was attempting to remove the sea anemone from the seabed and place it into the bucket.

When stopped and questioned, the woman revealed that it was because "she had never seen one before".

Photo from SGTrek Expeditions & Adventures / FB

Despite the SGTrek staff trying to discourage her from removing the anemone, the woman apparently did not take heed and "became too stubborn".

The staff then apparently told the woman off for her actions, and "move[d] her away from the location".

In their post, SGTrek condemned the woman's lack of knowledge and etiquette when visiting the marine park.

More about anemones

The anemone spotted at Sisters' Island is likely a carpet anemone.

These anemones have very short tentacles covering their oral disk and they resemble a furry carpet.

Although sea anemones sting, their stingers are not always potent enough to hurt humans.

Carpet anemone tentacles feel sticky to the touch, as the stingers attach to the skin.

Removing a carpet anemone from the object or surface it is attached to could cause injuries to the foot or base of the anemone, which could eventually result in its death.

A protected area

Sisters' Island Marine Park is home to over 250 species of hard corals, 100 species of reef fish, and provides a safe refuge for various species of endangered seahorses, clams, sponges and other marine life.

Visitors can charter a boat to Big Sister's Island, which is open to the public. The Little Sister's Island is closed to the public and mainly used for research and conservation.

Guided tours of the intertidal habitats to educate visitors on biodiversity are also conducted there.

However, in the case mentioned by SGTrek, the group guide or leader was apparently not present to stop the woman from trying to remove the anemone.

In 2017, Sisters' Island was given better protection, according to The Straits Times.

Although the terrestrial areas of the island are already afforded the same protection as other public parks in Singapore, amendments to the Parks and Trees Act made sure that the marine and foreshore areas were protected too.

It is an offence to remove any wildlife, such as fish or corals, from the marine park without the approval of the National Parks Board.

For those visiting the marine park, here are some dos and don'ts to take note of:

Photo from NParks

Top photo from SGTrek Expeditions & Adventures / FB