PUB to step up surveillance patrols at Marina Bay after another otter injured by fish hook

A female otter was spotted with a fishing line and hook in its body on Monday (Jan 2) morning.
A female otter was spotted with a fishing line and hook in its body on Monday (Jan 2) morning.PHOTO: JEFF TAN

SINGAPORE - A day after another otter was spotted with a fishing hook and line embedded in its body, Singapore's water agency PUB reiterated its stance against illegal fishing and said surveillance patrols will be stepped up at Marina Bay, where the latest incident reportedly happened.

In response to a query by The Straits Times on the Marina Bay incident, a PUB spokesman said on Tuesday (Jan 3) that PUB officers " carry out daily surveillance at the reservoirs and take enforcement action against illegal fishing - fishing at no-fishing areas and/or using live bait".

"Surveillance patrols will be stepped up at Marina Bay," the spokesman added.

Those caught fishing at no-fishing areas or using live bait can be fined up to $3,000.

The Straits Times on Monday (Jan 2) reported that a female otter, believed to be the mother of a new litter, was spotted by otter watchers at the floating platform on Monday morning with a fishing hook and line in its body.

Anglers were photographed fishing at a no-fishing zone along Marina Bay that same day.

PUB said it urges anglers "not to put themselves and other people or animals at risk by fishing at no-fishing areas".

 
 

It also encouraged members of the public to call the PUB hotline on 1800-2255-782 if they spot any illegal or unsafe fishing activities.

It would be helpful to provide the date, time and location of the incident, along with photos and videos, PUB added.

Legal fishing areas nearby include designated fishing areas at Marina Reservoir, two stretches of designated fishing areas at Kallang Basin.

  • Here are some fishing guidelines according to PUB's website:

  • - Fish responsibly by fishing only at designated areas and using only artificial bait at reservoirs.

    - Do not fly fish.

    - Cast lures with care to avoid injuring others.

    - Use only carbon steel micro barb or barbless hooks and practise catch and release where possible.

    - Discard unwanted fishing lines, hooks and other rubbish into litter bins.

    - Otters may be spotted. Do not harm them.

    For a list of locations where fishing is permitted, visit https://www.pub.gov.sg/getinvolved/activities/fishing

PUB reminded anglers to "take note of the do's and don'ts as reservoirs are common spaces shared by other water sport users and the public".

"While enjoying these recreational spaces, anglers should take responsibility by practising good fishing habits such as discarding hooks and bait into bins, and not hook the otters," said its spokesman.

The Straits Times understands that the otter watching community have not managed to confirm whether or not the hook is still in the female otter.

The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society is not actively trying to capture the otter to remove the hook as capture can be very stressful for the animal.

An otter pup that was spotted with a fish hook in its eye in April last year (2016) recovered from the wound without any external help.