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Biodiversity declining in Vietnam's central coastal areas

Because of pollution, climate change and overexploitation, marine biodiversity in the central region is declining.

The quality of coastal water, especially in estuarine waters, harbors, urban areas and residential quarters has declined because of pollution. The sedimentation and erosion at many estuaries, coastal and port areas has changed the coastal ecosystems.




Besides, the use of trawlers and mines in fishing destroys coral reefs, damaging the habitat of many species and leading to the decline of biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems.

In Quang Ngai province, scientists have found over 160 species of fish, shrimp and mollusks, and about 68,000 tons aquatic reserves in the sea. However, marine biodiversity there has decreased to an average level.

Le Trung Thanh, a fisherman in Pho Thanh commune of Duc Pho district in Quang Ngai province, who was famous in the Sa Huynh fishing hamlet with four fishing boats, now has two boats. He sold the other two boats after unprofitable fishing trips.

In Quang Ngai province, scientists have found over 160 species of fish, shrimp and mollusks, and about 68,000 tons aquatic reserves in the sea. However, marine biodiversity there has decreased to an average level.

“Five or seven years ago, fishing boats were full of fish after every offshore trip and we did not catch small fish. But now, there is not much fish, even small ones,” Thanh said, adding that 50-60 percent of fishing trips are unprofitable.

The Binh Dinh Agriculture and Rural Development Department says that biodiversity in the coastal areas of the province is declining. Coral ecosystems, seagrass beds and aquatic resources are gradually losing due to destructive fishing with explosives, and trawlers.

“It is worrying that fishing boat and tourism boat are damaging coral reefs, leaving no space for aquatic species to gather and multiply,” an official of the department said.

In Nhon Hai commune of Quy Nhon City, there are 7 hectares of water surface with beautiful well-protected coral reefs beneath and around Hon Kho Island. However, the area has been allocated to Tan Phat Company to develop tourism.

The coral reefs have been seriously damaged. The great efforts by local people to protect the coral reefs have been erased. Moreover, the two hectares of coral reefs nearby are also under threat.

Scientists warn that the decline in marine biodiversity will not only affect economic development, but also the living environment of locals, especially those who earn their living on aquatic resources.

In order to protect marine biodiversity, Quang Ngai has set up Ly Son marine protected area (MPA), of 7,925 hectares, putting under strict control. In Cu Lao Cham MPA, the areas of Bai Bac, Hon Lao, Hon Dai and Hon La Islands have been chosen for sea turtle breeding and habitat. 

Thien Nhien


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