News in Hoi An Ancient Town

Cham Island sees coral reef revival
A small colony of young coral reef is growing back on the coastal area of Tam Hiep Islet in Cham Island, 18km off the coast of Hoi An city, the central province of Quang Nam.

An official from the Management Board of Cham Island, Le Vinh Thuan, confirmed that the small polyped stony corals reproduce young coral on a rock of the coastal area in Bai Lang Port.

"It's a sign of well-protected environment in the area. The environment around the port, which was seen as a heavily polluted area, has improved due to non-use plastic bags and the 3-R (reduce, reuse and recycle) programmes since 2011," Thuan said.

"We have grown 4,800 colonies of coral on an area of 4,000sq.m since 2012. We also localised some areas of corals that are vulnerable to human activities," he said.

He added that the managing board also collects crown-of-thorns starfish (acanthaster planci) – a shellfish that eat and destroy coral reef annually.

According to Chu Manh Trinh, an expert from the sea preservation centre of Cham Island , islanders have gradually recognised the importance of protection coral reefs in the sea area.

He said that local people have almost stopped dumping garbage and nylon bags, creating a clean and safe environment for coral reef growing again. This young coral reef is the beginning of a reef ecosystem in the area, he added.

However, the managing board has yet received major investment in improving the environment for coral reef reviving.

"Coral reefs are also among the most vulnerable, as they are extremely sensitive to seawater temperature, and global warming may destroy them. Natural disaster is the most dangerous factor that demolishes coral reefs annually," Thuan speculated.

"We spend an amount of the ticket sales from tourism and funds from the provincial budget on protecting coral reefs. However, it is yet enough," he said.

According to latest statistics, the seawater of Cham Island is home to of coral reefs. Nearly 3,000 inhabitants of Cham Island – one of the major tourist destinations in Quang Nam province now have access to fresh water.

Vice Chairman of the city Truong Van Bay said environmentally friendly technology solutions such as wind power and solar energy were the area's top priority.

Cham Island was recognised as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2009. It hosts around 100,000 tourists annually, of them 10 percent are foreigners.-VNA
Source Vietnam+