CHÀM ISLAND — Coral reefs off Chàm Island have been well conserved with an average coverage of 59.16 per cent at seven sites following an annual reef check and coral clean-up programme.
The management board of the Chàm Island Maritime Protected Area (MPA) said coral population at the islets off Dài, Khô, Lá, Mồ, Tai, Đậu Tai and Xếp beaches were seen as the best protected, while key species (living in coral reefs) including grouper and holothurian remained from five to 22 individuals per 100 sq.
Meanwhile, starfish and other coral eating species were rarely found during the check programme in early March.
However, plastic waste such as ghost nets and fishing lines still occupied 71.4 per cent of total waste collected.
According to MPA, sea grass coverage was 16.24 per cent – 10.2 per cent lower than 2019 check – but only areas off the Bắc beach recorded the highest rate of well preserved with 34.24 per cent.
The MPA warned the excessive travel of speed boats and mass tourism had left harmful sediment on sea grass over past years. Experts from the MPA said less mass tourism activities and waste around the Chàm Islands – a world biodiversity reserve site – would help the marine ecosystem in waters off the islands recover.
They said more than 2,700 groups of coral species had been planted over 2,000sq.m in waters off the Chàm Island in a pilot project from 2015-17, and coral groups have been well developed with a survival ratio ranging between 52 and 99 per cent.
The rapid development of coral reefs will shelter fish and aquatic species from natural disasters.
Chàm island-Hội An, which was recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2009, is seen as one of few places in Việt Nam successfully campaigning against plastic bags and promoting 3-R programmes.
It plans to build as the first zero waste site in Việt Nam.
The reserve covers more than 33,000ha, including 1,500ha of tropical forests and 6,700ha of sea, featuring a wide range of marine fauna and flora. — VNS