6 No 1
Butterflies and their food plants
at Sungei Buloh
Land before time about the insects at Sungei Buloh
in Singapore Mangroves
5th Anniversary Celebrations
Volunteer Annual General Meeting
Otters in Sight and a Masked Finfoot sighting
What then is traditional prawn farming?To begin, naturally occurring juvenile prawns are introduced into the designated pond by flooding it during high tide and closing the sluice gate to keep them in. This introductory method works since adult prawns are known to spawn in mangrove waters. To prevent large predatory fishes from coming in and consuming the prawns, a metal mesh is installed along the sluice channel.
After the stocking of the pond, exchange of water between the pond and outside (sea) is carried on a weekly basis by opening part of the sluice gate when the water level outside is lower. Water comes into the pond again when the tide rises slowly, filling the pond. This exchange of water drains away pond water which carries waste and lets in nutrient-rich water.
The entire growth of the prawns rely on the natural productivity of the pond. The cyclic exchange of water will continue till the day when prawn harvesting is carried out. That occurs approximately three months from stocking the pond.
The harvesting is actually carried out in three parts. A minor harvest is carried out at 2am in the morning to ride the pond of some of the vegetative debris which tend to flow out first. This would prevent the leaves, branches and so on from clogging up the net later. The second stage is to lower the water level of the pond to around 2.5m. This reduces the pressure on the inner side of the sluice boards during low tide. Finally, the sluice gate is opened again at 7 am and the pond is completely emptied around 10 am.
From the 9 Dec harvest, we caught 9.5 kg worth of prawns, of which they were mainly Greasyback Shrimps (Metapenaeus ensis) and Banana Prawns (Penaeus merguiensis). Our biggest catch of that day was a Banana prawn which weighed 55 g and measured 225 mm in total body length! Apart from prawns, we also managed to catch a number of fish. The visitors had an enjoyable and informative time listening to the stories of the different types of fish told by the staff of the Park.
The event was indeed a successful one gauging from the delightful looks on the faces of the children looking at the jumping prawns and the appreciative crowd we had. The demonstration serves to highlight the usefulness of the mangrove areas which are natural spawning grounds for prawns and fish. It is also an educational activity for our visitors to learn about traditional prawn farming.
For more about
Prawn Farming at Sungei Buloh Nature Park.
Sluice gate management at Sungei Buloh Nature Park.
© Sungei Buloh Nature Park