Many coral reefs under the sea of Phu Quoc Island, off southern Vietnam, have disappeared due to climate change and water pollution over the past several years, the local conservation agency has said.
The pollution of the sea water environment is considered the main cause, Nguyen Hong Cuong, director of the Phu Quoc Marine Conservation Zone Management Board told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“Along with tourism development, garbage and wastewater have been discharged into the sea, causing contamination that has ruined coral reefs,” Cuong said.
Shrimp, fish, and “banh long” (actinopyga mauritiana) exploitation activities to the west of the island have been detrimental to the marine environment and thereby destroyed coral and other aquatic animals there, Cuong added.
Climate change is warming the water on the Phu Quoc seabed, especially since April 2010, killing a lot of coral reefs around the island, said Nguyen Van Tien, a local diver, told Tuoi Tre.
Statistics showed that 56.6 percent of the Phu Quoc coral reefs had died by that time, with 90 percent of the coral in certain locations destroyed, Tien said.
Last year, data indicated that the volume of newly-detected coral reefs was less than that of dead coral.
“Now coral can only be found in the waters north of Phu Quoc and some far locations to the south of the island,” another diver said.
Coral reefs are seen less and less at the depth of six meters from the surface downward, the diver said.
A driver who guides foreign tourists to take tours of coral under the sea said that 100 percent of them expressed displeasure at the great loss of coral that has not been protected properly.