Friday , July 19 2024

Project of reviving aquatic resources in Thừa Thiên-Huế will miss deadline

Eight years ago, a major marine environmental incident occurred in the central region, seriously affecting the marine flora and fauna of many localities, including Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.

The northern coastal area of Phú Lộc District. Photo

HUẾ CITY – It has been more than five years that the project of restoring and regenerating the aquatic ecosystems and resources in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province was promised.

To date nothing has been done and the window of opportunity to replace and replant coral in the ocean is running out.

The project, worth VNĐ170 billion (US$6.63 million) has been inactive due to many difficulties and obstacles.

Eight years ago, a major marine environmental incident occurred in the central region, seriously affecting the marine flora and fauna of many localities, including Thừa Thiên-Huế Province. Many coral reefs either died or became severely degraded, needing urgent regeneration and repair.

In 2019, the project of restoring and reviving the aquatic ecosystems was approved and carried out by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, with compensation from the Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Company.

The project was expected to be completed and put into operation by the end of 2022, but was then delayed until 2023.

However, up to now, nothing of the project has actually been deployed because it is still at the stage of preparing for the initial investments, such as bids for construction and installation.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the project includes two components of artificial reef planting with a total investment of VNĐ150 billion and planting and restoring coral reefs with a total investment of VNĐ20 billion.

Because the project has no precedent, there have been difficulties in appraisal and approval in terms of the investment.

There have also been problems securing new sources of coral breeds, with the sheer size of the total area of​​ natural coral reefs that must be restored and adjusting the area for releasing artificial reef clusters.

The locations chosen for planting and restoring coral are the waters of Sụng Rong Câu and Bãi Chuối, in the Sơn Chà – Hải Vân area, the coastal waters of Lăng Cô Town in Phú Lộc District, initially estimated to be an area of ​​16 – 18 hectares.

However, this was later reviewed and the calculation from actual ocean conditions was adjusted, decreasing sharply, to only about four hectares.

Meanwhile, for the component of artificial reef releasing, the area increased to ​3 from 2, with reef bottom coverage of about 1 to 1.5 per cent.

The artificial reef area is about 9km from the coast of Vinh Mỹ Commune of Phú Lộc District, at an average depth of 22-24 metres.

The plans are for 114 reef clusters and 2,850 artificial reef beds, cast in reinforced concrete, to be released over a stretch of the ocean bed of 2km. The artificial reefs will be shelter for aquatic species to grow.

According to the department, to date, this part of the plan has completed the investment procedure stage and will shortly open for bids, with construction started and completed by the end of 2024.

In terms of the planting, restoring and regenerating coral reefs, the project documents have been completed and submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for consideration.

According to a project executive officer, because the scheme is happening in the central coast region, which is often battered by storms and tropical depressions, coral planting can only be carried out from April to September every year.

Therefore, completing this project component in 2024 is hardly feasible. VNS

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