Protect coral at Hon Mun using solar-powered cameras

DNVN - After reports of severe coral bleaching in the Hon Mun Area, the People's Committee of Nha Trang city in the province of Khanh Hoa has proposed installing solar-powered cameras to monitor and protect coral in the area.

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The head of the Nha Trang Bay Management Board, Huynh Binh Thai, stated that the cameras would be installed on the island to monitor fishing boats and submersibles in the conservation area. It was also suggested to use underwater diving cameras to make it easier to observe coral growth.

The Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre and the Nha Trang Institute of Science and Technology for Aquaculture, both under Nha Trang University, will test coral restoration in a few areas of Hon Mun in addition to installing cameras. They would then decide on the best strategy for large-scale coral restoration. Nha Trang Bay, one of 16 marine protected areas in Vietnam, has a width of almost 250 square kilometers.

Scuba-diving is an well-known activity for tourists when visiting Nha Trang.

Scuba-diving is an well-known activity for tourists when visiting Nha Trang.

It has the most abundant and diverse ecosystems in the nation as well as many corals. Additionally, it is well known for having beaches where divers can go to see the ocean floor while scuba diving.

However, coral has drastically decreased in some parts of the bay. Notably, coral coverage decreased from more than 50% seven years ago to just about 10% recently, in the Hon Mun conservation area, more than 10 km from Nha Trang City. Several locations on the island saw damage to hundreds of square meters of coral, and some regions saw severe coral bleaching.

Coral at Hon Mun recently.

Coral at Hon Mun recently.


Corals could easily become stressed by changes in temperature, light, or nutrients, and they expel symbiotic algae living in their tissues, turning them white as a result. This process is known as coral bleaching.

The Khanh Hoa authority decided last month that swimming and diving activities would be prohibited in some areas of Nha Trang Bay, particularly Hon Mun island, beginning on June 27.

"Now, people can only dive in Hon Rom area and only divers with professional licences are allowed," Thai explained. The management board and the Viet Nam-Russia Tropical Centre are currently working together to reclassify the coral areas in Nha Trang Bay and recommend which areas are permitted to operate tourism activities and which are not.


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