Dive tourism to be halted to protect coral reefs

THE south-central province of Khanh Hoa is planning to suspend dive tourism in vulnerable coral reef areas in Nha Trang Bay due to serious reef degradation.

The Standing Board of the provincial Party Committee held a meeting earlier this week to look into the coral reef degradation in Hon Mun Marine Protected Area and concluded that the media’s report on reef degradation in this place was true, according to an announcement recently released.

It blamed that fact on impacts accumulated over many years due to both objective and subjective causes.

The objective cause is impacts of climate change and two strong storms, Damrey in 2017 and Rai in 2021 (no acidisation of the ocean water has occurred).

Meanwhile, the subjective cause is said to be the lax management and insufficient coordination among relevant departments, sectors, and localities. This is along with impacts of improper human activities such as illegal fishing and illegal dredging, unregulated construction in the coastal areas, and waste release from tourism activities.

The Standing Board ordered authorities of Khanh Hoa Province and Nha Trang City to conduct patrols to conserve the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area, increase communications to raise locals and tourists’ awareness, and ask institutes, research centres, experts, and scientists to carry out studies and surveys so as to make a precise assessment of the situation and propose solutions. — Vietnam News/ANN

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