|Styrofoam boxes float on the Hạ Long Bay, polluting the environment. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vân|
QUẢNG NINH — Styrofoam debris retrieved from illegal aquaculture cages has been washed into Hạ Long Bay, causing environmental pollution, tarnishing the tourist experience, and posing a threat to shipping vessels.
The World Heritage Centre, on March 15 this year, sent a document to Việt Nam to give feedback on the current status of Hạ Long Bay, which had been recognised as a World Natural Heritage.
It attached a letter from international tourists saying that waste floats too much on the bay, affecting their travel experience.
The Hạ Long Bay Management Board said that most of these styrofoam pieces came from dismantling illegal aquaculture cages.
Quảng Ninh Province asked residents to remove illegal cages, which caused environmental pollution and made the waterway unsafe.
Many households have voluntarily dismantled their cages. However, they did not remove the waste properly, directly affecting the protection area of the World Natural Heritage Hạ Long Bay.
The management board sent a letter to the Quảng Ninh Province People’s Committee, proposing Hạ Long and Cẩm Phả cities, Vân Đồn District and Quảng Yên Town to urgently implement solutions for the issue.
They must effectively control the waste after dismantling and relocating the aquaculture cages, strengthen inspection and strictly handle raft owners and fishermen who discharge the styrofoam pieces into the environment.
Nguyễn Bá Căn, deputy director of the Conservation Centre No 2 under the Hạ Long Bay Management Board, said that the centre called for different organisations to collect garbage.
They collect tonnes of styrofoam pieces each day.
The waste was very bulky, making collection quite difficult, but they still try their best to ensure the environment for visitors, especially in the upcoming summer.
On Saturday, the Hạ Long City People’s Committee called for more than 100 people, including police and army forces, youth and workers, and nearly 30 ships, to collect the garbage.
The waste was then brought to the shore for treatment.
Nguyễn Tuấn Minh, deputy chairman of the Hạ Long City People's Committee, said that on April 4, the city issued plan No. 150/KH-UBND on marine environmental protection.
Under the plan, the marine environmental protection campaign will last from April 4 to 20.
The campaign aims to create a profound change in the awareness, actions, responsibilities and obligations of the whole community, organisations and individuals.
The plan requires concerned organisations to remove illegal aquaculture-raising cages before the middle of this month.
The cages must be put in places suitable with the provincial plan for 2021-30, approved by the Prime Minister in Decision No 80/QĐ-TTG issued on February 11 this year.
In Cẩm Phả City, a campaign was launched from April 1 to 15 to clean up the marine environment.
In the campaign, tonnes of garbage from dismantling the cages and many other types of waste floating on the Bái Tử Long Bay were collected. — VNS