El Nino-triggered coral bleaching has spread to approximately one fourth of coral reef areas around Côn Đảo Islands off the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu since March. The worst bleaching occured in May.– Photo vietnamnet.vn
BÀ RỊA – VŨNG TÀU – El Nino-triggered coral bleaching has spread to approximately one fourth of coral reef areas around Côn Đảo Islands off the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu since March. The worst bleaching occured in May.
According to the management board of the Côn Đảo national park, eight major areas – including Côn Sơn bay, Đầm Tre and Hòn Tre Lớn seas – are affected. The weather phenomenon causing the water surface to become unusually warmer has so far affected up to 500 hectares of local coral reefs, with an average of between 30 and 40 per cent of corals bleached in hard-hit areas.
Bleaching stunts the growth of corals and makes them prone to diseases and reproduction vulnerability; in severe cases, it kills them.
Studies by the maritime conservation department show that most Porites, round-shaped Fungiidae and Poritidae corals in these locations were completely bleached and at high risk of dying. Pocillopora corals, meanwhile, have mostly been bleached on their branches, with Algae colours still spotted on their core bodies. However, the Pocillopora corals will eventually die if the heated conditions persist.
In 1998 and 2010, bleaching also took place in Côn Đảo, with some coral areas unable to recover naturally. -- VNS