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Vietnam’s Nha Trang seeks to resume diving activities at Hon Mun

Vietnam’s Nha Trang seeks to resume diving activities at Hon Mun

Sunday, August 20, 2023, 15:55 GMT+7
Vietnam’s Nha Trang seeks to resume diving activities at Hon Mun
The condition of coral in the waters of Hon Mun Island. Photo: Management Board of Nha Trang Bay

The management board of Nha Trang Bay in the namesake city under Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam has proposed reopening a diving site at Hon Mun Nature Reserve after over one year of closure for coral ecosystem restoration.

The proposal is factored into a report on the implementation of a general plan to revive Nha Trang Bay until 2030, which was prepared by the People’s Committee of Nha Trang, a famous beach city in the south-central region. 

A representative of the management board under the municipal administration said on Saturday that the board was gathering opinions and feedback from other agencies to allow tourism service suppliers to resume swimming and diving activities in Nha Trang Bay, including the Hon Mun island area.

The management board had earlier proposed the municipal administration reopen the diving site south of Hon Mun Island.

The board will be in charge of monitoring and controlling the number of tourists to avoid crowding that poses a threat to the coral reef ecosystem.

The diving site will be only opened to professional divers who hold an international diving certificate, according to the proposal.

Besides, the management board suggested continuing to shutter other diving sites at Hon Mun Nature Reserve to protect coral reefs until further notice.

Huynh Binh Thai, head of the management board, said that the Institute of Oceanography in Nha Trang City will conduct surveys and re-evaluate the condition of coral reefs at the nature reserve to weigh reopening the diving sites there.

Some diving service providers in Nha Trang City said that resuming swimming and scuba diving operations will attract divers to the tourist destination, but authorities should adopt effective measures to balance tourism and preservation.

Under the Nha Trang City People’s Committee’s directive, the management board of Nha Trang Bay halted sea leisure activities, including diving, in the Hon Mun Island area on June 27 last year, until further notice.

The suspension was made as a result of the bleaching, damage, and decline of many coral species there.

During the ongoing suspension, the management board opens a temporary diving site northeast of Hon Rom Island, with a limited number of divers.  

The results of surveys on coral reefs at Hon Mun Nature Reserve made in late 2022 and in March this year showed that coral coverage in the north and southwest areas of Hon Mun Island reached 74.5 percent, within the good level of 51-75 percent.

Meanwhile, the northwestern and western parts of Hon Mun Island saw a storm destroy many coral reefs in December 2021. The coral reefs there are in the process of recovery.

Hon Mun Island, over 10 kilometers from the shore, covers 160 square kilometers.

As one of the most charming islands off Nha Trang, Hon Mun boasts various coral reefs and a rich marine ecosystem, news site VnExpress reported.

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Tieu Bac - Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre News

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