The central coastal province of Phu Yen is searching for solutions to protect the local coral reefs which have been damaged by human activities.
Phu Yen coral reefs in need of conservation
Statistics from Nha Trang Oceanography Institute show that Phu Yen has 182 species of corals, 17 of which are near Yen Island. The coral reefs can be a major factor for the local tourism development, however, they are badly damaged and exploited.
In order to deal with the problem, Phu Yen People's Committee invited experts from Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre to survey the coral reefs at potential locations for tourism development. Three popular destinations are Lao Mai Nha Island, Yen Island in Tuy An District and Nua Island in Dong Hoa District. The coral reefs have been damaged by storms and human activities such as fishing and over-exploitation. The coral reefs at Yen Island is the most damaged.
"There are both hard and soft coral reefs. They are being badly affected by rubbish, fish farms and other activities. If we don't act now, we'll lose them completely because corals recover and grow very slowly," said Dr Hoang Thi Thuy Duong from Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre.
Pham Dai Duong, chairman of Phu Yen, said coral conservation was an urgent task. Not only they are good for the environment, but they can also help boost sustainable tourism and marine economy in general.
Currently, the locals on Chua Island, Tuy An District, have been able to take advantage of the beautiful coral reefs to provide services such as snorkelling tours.
Pham Van Bay, director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said, "We’ve worked with the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre over the issue. In June, we'll continue survey and assess the corals in more details to have suitable protection, recovery and development solution."
He went on to say that the corals at Yen Island will be carefully assessed because the landscape cluster of Yen Island was recognised as a national site for its geological, cultural and historical values as well as floral diversity in 2018. Dtinews