A recent travel update states that the popular scuba diving destination in Asia, Vietnam, has temporarily banned scuba diving. Concerned about the poor condition of coral due to excessive pollution and global warming, this action is taken.
There are numerous locations along the 3200 kilometers of Asia’s coastline where international tourists can witness the ocean’s crystalline clarity. Perhaps the dazzling coastline is the reason why Asian countries are always at the top of travelers’ wish lists. Every year, millions of people visit these counties due to the extraordinary marine life.
Vietnam is a well-known tourist destination throughout the world. People frequently plan vacations to Vietnam to enjoy the tranquil beaches and water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, this news will be disappointing.
Hon Mun, a 5-square-kilometer island located approximately 10 kilometers off the coast of Nha Trang, will be closed indefinitely to swimmers and divers to protect the area’s severely damaged coral.
Officials announced the ban on Monday, citing the need to “evaluate the condition of the sensitive area so that an appropriate plan to establish the marine conservation area can be developed.” The coral coverage of the ocean floor has decreased from 60% in 2020 to 50% recently. Seventy-to-eighty percent of the coral in the region is now dead, according to recent visitors.
The duration of the ban has not been determined, and scientists say they need to investigate the cause of coral mortality. Climate change, recent storms, pollution, illegal dredging and construction, irresponsible fishing, and the activity of divers and swimmers have all been suggested as causes; however, there is no consensus on the primary culprit or the most effective method for restoring the marine ecosystem.
However, some recreational divers are opposed to the announced ban. In comparison to other activities, swimming and diving have the least impact on coral reefs, according to a diver who spoke to AFP. The argument is that the region would have improved during the recent pandemic if recreational visitors were truly the issue. This did not happen. They suggest that illegal and unregulated fishing vessels in the area are to blame, and that the ban will have no effect on them.
As a model, many point to Thailand’s decision to close the renowned Maya Bay to all activities for nearly three years to protect the area. They sacrificed short-term economic gains by strictly enforcing a ban on all recreational and commercial activity in the area in order to preserve the ecosystem for future generations.
Unfortunately, many experts in the field feel that the attention and plans are long overdue. Nguyn Tn Thành, Director of Turtle Drive Co., Ltd, told the news source, “From 1998 to 1999, I warned hundreds of oceanographers about the potential extinction of coral ecosystems in Hn Mun in particular and Nha Trang Bay in general due to human activity.”
Hon Mun is part of the first and only protected marine area in Vietnam that the World Wildlife Fund has evaluated (WWF). It is included in the Nha Trang Bay Marine Reserve, which encompasses 160 square kilometers of islands and surface water.