A volunteer of SaSa Marine rescue team plants coral plugs on a dead coral reef off the Sơn Trà peninsula in Đà Nẵng. The team plans to revive a 1.2sq.km complex of coral in the area in four months. Photo courtesy Lê Chiến
ĐÀ NẴNG — Members of the SaSa Marine animal rescue team have been restoring a 1.2sq.km complex of coral reefs on the coastal area of the Sơn Trà peninsula in the central city, reviving the already damaged coral reefs for prolonged existence of ocean species in the area.
The team founder, Lê Chiến told Việt Nam News that about 400 branches of coral have been replanted on an area of 10sq.m of the dead coral reefs since the coral reefs restoration project started last week.
Chiến said the team would restore an area of 1.2sq.km in four months in returning a safe shelter for sea species.
He said a four-member team managed to put from 100 to 200 branches of coral on the dead coral reefs each day, and 1 million coral plugs will be used to restore from 100 to 200sq.m of coral reefs.
He said the project was delayed for several months due to COVID-19.
According to a report from the team after a one-year survey, coral reefs on the southern area of the Sơn Trà Peninsula were damaged by plastic waste, fishing nets and anchoring by fishing boats. Tourist activity also damaged the reefs.
Coral plugs are fixed on the dead coral reefs in waters off the Sơn Trà peninsula. A vast area of coral reefs and seaweed in the area was damaged over the past two decades due to over-fishing, pollution and rapid construction. Photo courtesy SaSa team
The team said snorkelling services by local travel agencies had damaged the coral reefs as tourists could stand on the vulnerable coral during the tours.
Chiến said the team has offered free courses for snorkelling and diving to raise awareness among tourists on the protection of precious coral reefs in the Sơn Trà Peninsula.
According to a report from the Southern Institute of Ecology, a vast area from Hải Vân Mountain to Sơn Trà Peninsula is home to 104ha coral reefs, 26ha of seaweed and 10ha of sea-grass beds.
However, the complex of seaweed and sea-grass has seen damaged by pollution and over-fishing activities as well as rapid construction progress in the peninsula over past decades. — VNS