Fisheries & Fish Industry

Popular otter spotted with fishing hook stuck in body

Popular otter spotted with fishing hook stuck in body

The victim: The female otter was spotted with a fishing line and hook in its body. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

The victim: The female otter was spotted with a fishing line and hook in its body. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

SINGAPORE: A female otter believed to be the mother of the popular Bishan otters was spotted with a fishing line and hook in its body, just two days after a sighting of a new litter of otter pups.

Retiree Patrick Ng, 60, who has followed the otters for a year, said yesterday that he spotted the hook and line when reviewing videos he had taken of the otters at about 9am yesterday at the floating platform at Marina Bay.

“I was just shooting them on video and didn’t realise it at that time, but when I went home and viewed it, I noticed some strings sticking out,” he said.

He added that he noticed “a lot of anglers” when the otters were swimming up to the floating platform, and believes that was how the female otter, believed to be the mother of the litter, got hooked.

Netizens on a Facebook post by otter community OtterWatch were concerned for the hooked otter.

Facebook user Kim Yap wrote: “Please help otter mum.”

Joo Kek added that he hoped PUB (National Water Agency) would take “ illegal fishing at Marina Bay seriously”.

Another otter watcher, 45-year-old Jeffery Teo, who works in the financial services industry, said that the well-loved Bishan 10 otters were now Bishan 14.

They were given the name as the otters were first spotted in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park.

A litter of five pups is believed to have been born in mid-November last year but were sighted only on Dec 31.

Speaking about the latest fish hook incident, Teo said there were anglers photographed at the scene, where “No Fishing” signs have been put up.

“All the signs are erected but nobody seems to be enforcing it especially on the weekends,” he said.

Said Teo: “It took decades for our native otters to finally return, if we are not mindful, we may not have a second chance next time.” — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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