Reviving coral reef for sustainable tourist development

 By NGUYEN KIM BAO |

(QNO) - The rich marine resources of the Cham islands (Hoi An city, Quang Nam province) consist of 165 hectares of coral and 500 hectares of seaweeds. Among 150 species of coral, 4 species of lobster, 84 species of mollusc found here, there are some  in the World’s Red Book of Endangered Species.

Hard coral reefs in Cham Island attract many tourists.
Hard coral reefs in Cham Island attract many tourists.

Since 2013, the colonies of young coral reefs on the coastal area of Tam Hiep Islet (Cham island, Hoi An city, Quang Nam province) have been revived by the Management Board of Cham Island (MBCI). This work is a part of the project “Safeguarding, reviving and preserving the stony coral reefs in the water zone of the Cham Island”, which is funded by the Mangroves For the Future (MFF) Organisation.

This project is also an important step to boost the campaign “Say no to nylon bags” and the 3-R (reduce, reuse and recycle) programme, which have been carried out in Cham Island since 2009 by  local residents and tourists to safeguard the precious natural resources and marine ecological environment. This work will also be a key solution for the sustainable tourism development in Cham Island. In past years, many tourists have come to Cham Island to take part in the “Discovering coral reefs” tours.

According to the MBCI, the seawater of Cham island is home to 1.2 square kilometres of stony coral reefs. The coral ranges produce young corals on  the rock of the coastal area in Bai Lang. It's a sign of well-protected environment for (reproducing coral in the area) coral development.

Starting in 2012 the MBCI has been cooperating with the  Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography  to grow over 7,000 colonies of coral in the area of 4,000sq.m. These young coral reefs are the beginning of a reef ecosystem development in the region. The local authority has issued a ban on exploiting corals in any form. An amount of the ticket sales from tourism and funds from the provincial budget and international supports have been expended on safeguarding and reviving the coral reefs in Cham Island.

The local managers expect that the present work of  safeguarding and reviving the coral reefs of Cham Island is also a key solution to building and developing this World Biosphere Reserve to become one of the most attractive and interesting destinations of Vietnam.

 By NGUYEN KIM BAO