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Photo credit: THE STRAITS TIMES

Outrage at anglers after otter injury

Should there be stricter surveillance on anglers to protect wild otters?

Angela Ouyang


Published: 6 January 2017, 2:23 AM

Earlier this week, another otter picked up the attention of Public Utilities Board (PUB) when a picture emerged of it with a fishing hook embedded in its body.

Much like a similar incident last April year where an otter was spotted with a fish hook in its eye, netizens are up in arms demanding more be done to protect the otters.

What's going on?

The picture of the female otter, believed to be the mother of a new litter, was taken at Marina Bay’s floating platform and showed a hook and line in its body.

This elicited a response from PUB saying they would step up surveillance patrols at Marina Bay and take action against illegal fishing. Surveillance will also be done at other reservoirs daily.

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

Some netizens felt that enforcing rules against illegal fishing will protect animals from harm.

 

ANIMAL LOVERS AND OTTER SPOTTERS WERE SUPPORTING THE INCREASED SURVEILLANCE.

 

Carmen Chee, 19, believes that a stricter enforcement of the law is necessary. The Ngee Ann Polytechnic student said: “There will still be people carrying out illegal fishing albeit being warned…immediate action should be taken to stop them before more animals are injured.”

Other supporters thought that it would be safer not only for animals, but also for the public if anglers stop fishing in no-fishing areas.

 

SOME NETIZENS WERE PERSONALLY AFFECTED BY SOME ANGLERS.

 

Tok Juen Kwang, a 21-year-old national serviceman, agreed: “Good work on PUB’s part for looking out for people who are fishing for trouble – it would be a good deterrent for unauthorised anglers, who would be reeling in a huge fine.”

However, some netizens felt that there was no need for such strict consequences on all anglers just because of a few black sheep.

 

THIS NETIZEN THOUGHT THAT PEOPLE WERE OVERREACTING OVER THIS ONE INCIDENT.

 

ANOTHER NETIZEN TOOK A STAND FOR PEOPLE WHO ENJOY FISHING.

 

“Though it is upsetting to hear about the otter’s case, it’s not fair to judge all anglers based on a few rare cases,” said Valerie Tan.

The 19-year-old student from Nanyang Technological University added: “I don’t think enforcing such a strict rule would help to ease these unfortunate events that were not done on purpose.”

What's your take?

1. Do you think designating fishing zones is sufficient to protect animals like otters from fishing-related accidents? Why?
2. Should wild otters be allowed to roam freely in an urban environment like Singapore, or should they be kept in a wildlife reserve for their safety?


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