PHÚ YÊN — As tourists return to Hòn Yến national scenic spot, their actions are also damaging the coral reefs.
The Hòn Yến national scenic spot in An Hòa Hải, Tuy An, Phú Yên has some unique geological details forming an ecosystem of corals on the shallow surface of sand and volcanic rocks.
However, outside the current threats of storms and waves, another danger has emerged to endanger this unique ecosystem. Many tourists who come here to take pictures of the coral reefs have stepped on them, making the coral crumble.
“Here we have 17 species of coral reefs living,” said Hồ Văn Trung, a resident. “To get an ecosystem and a scene such as this takes millions of years. Due to the pandemic, tourists stopped coming here, and the coral regenerated quickly.”
“But then tourists returned and damaged the coral reefs with their actions. In my opinion, local governments must take action to preserve this wonderful natural treasure.”
Lê Đoan Trang Trúc, a tourist from Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, said: “This is my first time here in Hòn Yến, and it’s stunning. It took a long time for coral to form and create this wonderful scene, but many tourists are unaware of this. Even old people stepped on and sat on the corals.”
“If this keeps happening for a couple of years, Hòn Yến will not exist anymore.”
Huỳnh Văn Khoa, chairman of the Tuy An District People’s Committee, said: “We must protect this natural landscape. We will direct related authorities to implement protective action and stop the damaging of coral by tourists and residents.”
According to the Việt Nam-Russian Tropical Research Centre, Hòn Yến has 17 recorded species of coral.
Phú Yên Province, in collaboration with many international organisations, has initiated preservation projects here.
Local residents have also established a local task force to protect the coral. — VNS
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