UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam has recently been flooded with a huge volume of trash and styrofoam waste, prompting local officials to step in.
In recent days, pieces of styrofoam have been seen scattered in the waters of Ha Long Bay, famous for its luxury cruise tours around limestone karst mountains.
The Ha Long Bay management board said that most of the styrofoam waste came from seafood farming households who dumped styrofoam buoys in the water after removing or relocating their fish cages, Vietnam News Agency reported.
Pham Ha, CEO of Lux Group which specializes in organizing luxury cruise tours in Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay, on Sunday shared a photo of Ha Long Bay with floating styrofoam waste on his Facebook page.
He said many foreign tourists who experienced his company’s luxury cruise tours complained that “Ha Long is full of garbage” and decided right then and there that they did not want to visit the bay ever again.
Last week, the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism asked the Ha Long Bay management board to report the garbage flooding on the world heritage bay.
On Saturday, local authorities launched an extensive styrofoam collection campaign joined by eight boats, 20 barges, and dozens of people to remove trash around the bay.
Seafood farming households were asked to clean the water after they removed and relocated fish cages.
Ha Long will roll out a long-term maritime environmental protection campaign starting from April 21 to raise awareness of environmental protection among fish farmers, VNA reported.
Since its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, Ha Long Bay has entrenched itself on the global tourism map, receiving rave reviews from travel bloggers and filmmakers for its emerald green waters and towering limestone islands topped by forests.
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