Fishing grounds at Lower Peirce Reservoir reopened after removal of stingrays

Lower Peirce Reservoir (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

The fishing grounds at Lower Peirce Reservoir re-opened on Monday (7 January), after the Public Utilities Board (PUB) removed about 140 non-native motoro stingrays from the waters with the assistance of National Parks Board and the National University of Singapore.

The fishing grounds at both the Lower Peirce and Upper Seletar reservoirs were closed following sightings of the stingrays on 20 December last year. The motoro stingrays originate from South America and are not native to Singapore.

PUB has advised that the fishing grounds at Upper Seletar Reservoir remain closed until further notice. It will also continue to monitor the situation and conduct regular checks along Lower Pierce Reservoir.

Stingray first identified in 2010

The motoro stingray has a stinger at the base of its tail that can deliver venomous stings that can cause extreme pain and even death. However, it is generally shy and attacks only if threatened.

Motoro stingrays were first netted and identified in Upper Seletar in 2010 by scientists from NUS’ Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, the first record of them setting up a colony this far from home. Since 2015, PUB has removed 75 motoro stingrays from Singapore’s water bodies.

PUB has urged the public to exercise caution and not to enter the waters while fishing. As bottom dwellers, motoro stingrays are able to camouflage well against the reservoirs beds, making them hard to spot.

The stingrays can also breed in large numbers, hence the ongoing process to remove them. If the public sees or catches a stingray, they are advised to call PUB at 1800-2255782 for assistance.

PUB will step up surveillance and take enforcement action against those caught releasing animals into the reservoirs. It is an offence to release any animal or fish into the reservoirs and waterways, as it may impact the water quality of the water sources, and pose a risk to users of the water bodies. Offenders risk fines of up to $3,000.

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