The Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) was initiated by a proposal from the Blue Plan Group which was submitted to the Singapore government in 2009. It was agreed that Singapore should conduct a comprehensive survey to document all of our marine life in all of our natural marine habitats.

Apart from taking stock of Singapore's marine biodiversity, CMBS aimed to build local capacity in the field of marine biology, spread awareness and increase appreciation of our marine natural heritage. Led by the National Parks Board (NParks), the survey brought together experts and partners from tertiary institutions (National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University), NGOs and volunteers from the community at large.

Corporate groups also came on board as sponsors. Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore donated S$250,000 to the Garden City Fund, which financed both the Seabed Survey phases. The Care-for-Nature Trust Fund also donated S$250,000 to the Garden City Fund, which financed equipment required for CMBS. Keppel Care Foundation contributed S$60,000 for the Coral Reef Survey. Shell Companies in Singapore donated S$500,000 to the National University of Singapore for conservation activities, of which S$300,000 went towards bringing in scientific experts for the CMBS. The Air Liquide Group donated S$30,000 to the Garden City Fund, which also funded the Coral Reef Survey. Apart from financing the surveys, staff from our corporate sponsors participated actively in our activities.

Launched in November 2010, the CMBS was carried out in phases over five years. Biodiversity surveys for the mudflats, seabed and coral reefs have been conducted. A group of enthusiastic birdwatchers known as the "Singapore Pelagics" have also conducted seabird surveys for the CMBS. The group went on monthly boat trips in 2010 and 2011 around Singapore's waters to document the seabird diversity that is present in our waters.

To date, CMBS has discovered possibly 100 species new to Science, 200 records new to Singapore and 10 rediscoveries (not recorded for more than 50 years). More information of some of the interesting discoveries can be found in the "Resources" page.  



Projects 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Mudflat survey





Seabed survey (incl. deeper waters > 50 m)






Reef survey




International Workshop    (Johor Strait)

  15 Oct – 2 Nov


 International Workshop (Singapore Strait)       20 May – 7  Jun    



Scientific papers, popular guides, workshop proceedings

Volunteer participation

478 have participated since 2010

Staff/volunteer training

NUS have conducted five biodiversity training workshops at TMSI on sea squirts, sea anemones, bivalves, hydroids/bryozoans, HABs, since 2010

If you need further information that is not provided on this website, please send your enquiry to Ng_Juat_Ying@nparks.gov.sg.