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Keywords: Environmental Management
Master (Environmental Management)
Leong Chee Yew Sandric
2015/2016 EnvM
Issue Date: 14-Jul-2016
Abstract: The increasing severity and frequency of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) has necessitated the implementation of HAB management strategies to prevent or minimize the impact of HABs to aquaculture industry, public health and marine ecosystem. As Singapore’s coastal fish farm in East and West Johor Straits were affected by HABs since 2009, it is critical that effective HAB management system should be implemented to reduce the damage of HABs. This dissertation aimed to assess the current HAB management strategies and formulate a HAB response coordination framework and action plan to future HAB management system in Singapore. Firstly, I reviewed the multiple approaches (prevention, control and mitigation) to HABs management in HAB-affected countries and the current HABs management in Philippine, Korea and New Zealand in chapter two. After that, the Singapore’s experience of managing HABs event and the results of the questionnaire from fish farmer were elucidated in chapter three. The questionnaire was intended to assess the status quo and also the future wishes of fish farmer to HAB management. There were 28 fish farmers from East and West Johor Straits answered the questionnaire in which 40% of the farmer responded the questionnaire in Chinese version and 60% responded English version. Most of the farmers answered all the single and multiple response type of questions except the open-ended question in which the response is not very enthusiastic. Among all the 28 fish farmers that responded to the questionnaire, about 93% had experienced HABs in their farm, and 89% claimed that their fish farms had been affected by HAB event. However, only 68% of the farmer took emergent countermeasures to prevent/minimize the possible impact of HABs to their own farm. The highest relative frequency of emergent countermeasures taken by farmers is perimeter skirting of fish pen (61%), which is being encouraged by the authority. While the source of information regarding the iii emergent countermeasures are mostly from their own experience (89%) and also 89% found that the information given by the authority was not useful. The main sources of information about HAB event were from telephone (18%), and followed by newspaper (14%), internet and television (11%), radio (4%). This suggests that media seems to be an uncommon communication tool among responding farmer, farm-to-farm visit is suggested in disseminating information and emergent messages. In term of training and outreach program by the authority, 71% of the farmers responded that they has never attended any training. Moreover, 82% of the farmers do not aware of any HABs response plan implemented by the responsible authorities. In light of the increased HAB outbreaks in Singapore, my findings highlight the issue and challenges of the current HAB management system. Additionally, I recommend a cost effective and efficient HABs monitoring system and encourage government interagency collaboration. Lastly, HAB response coordination framework and action plan were formulated in this dissertation, aiming to recommend a rapid-response communications network that promotes a uniform and coordinated response between local agencies during HAB outbreaks.
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