KIÊN GIANG — Environmental pollution, encroachment of coastal areas to build resorts, restaurants and other activities on the coast have degraded and destroyed marine ecosystems in many coastal and island areas in Phú Quốc, Kiên Giang Province.
Nguyễn Văn Tiệp, director of Phú Quốc National Park, said the development of marine tourism which is not linked to environmental protection as well as the preservation of wetland ecosystems has damaged the habitats of marine species.
He added that the use of chemicals, explosives and electric shocks to catch fish is still a concern.
Violations in marine conservation have not been thoroughly resolved and sanctions are still not strong enough to deter violators, Tiệp said.
Meanwhile, the funds for the National Park to manage Phú Quốc Marine Protected Area are still limited, while some localities have also not paid much attention to marine conservation.
Authorities of Phú Quốc National Park has proposed the province strengthen patrols, enforce the fisheries law and strictly handle violations in the fishing industry in the marine protected area.
The forces also need to inspect establishments that raise, trade and process aquatic products and shops selling handicraft products to detect and handle violations.
The inspections should also be strengthened to handle violations in mineral exploitation such as sand collection, ground levelling and quarrying, affecting the landscape and environment of the Phú Quốc marine protected area.
Agencies should review and assess the impacts of projects related to the protected area, especially tourism projects, resorts and coastal urban areas.
The National Park also proposed the province handle tourism activities, illegal construction, coral and seagrass exploitation, and illegal aquaculture.
To deal with such problems, the vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Kiên Giang Province, Lê Quốc Anh, has assigned the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the management board of Phú Quốc economic zone, police and relevant agencies to take urgent measures, inspect and handle violations in Phú Quốc Marine Protected Area.
The Phú Quốc Marine Protected Area in Phú Quốc National Park has a water area of more than 40,909ha, including protected coral and seagrass areas.
A buffer zone of about 12,467ha has also been set up to minimise the impact of socio-economic activities on seagrass and coral conservation.
To promote conservation and tap the potential the protected area holds, Kiêng Giang authorities are perfecting co-operative models between the Phú Quốc National Park and related parties, with consideration given to using new technologies to recover ecosystems and resources.
Communications are also focused to raise public awareness, developing aquatic breeding facilities, strictly managing fishing activities, and boosting environmental monitoring. — VNS
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