Authorities in the central province of Khanh Hoa are struggling to save the Nha Trang Bay from environmental pollution and restore it as the most beautiful bay in the world.
|Restaurants on the islands dump waste into Nha Trang Bay (Photo: SGGP)|
Nha Trang Bay is under heavy pressure as rampant waste dumping continues from 90 percent of tourist and fishing boats directly discarding garbage and faeces into the seawater.
Around 7,000 fish and shrimp farms release leftover food waste into the coral reef. Over 5,000 people living on the island or farming at sea dump about 10 tons of household waste every day.
Besides this, Nha Trang Bay takes in a lot of waste from seafood processing plants and logistic services at the fishing port. The untreated wastewater is released from ten sluices with three of them dumping directly into the sea, five into the Cai River and three into the Quan Truong River.
The Khanh Hoa Province authorities have agreed to build wastewater treatment plants in an effort to save the Bay but construction has been slow moving.
In 2007, an environmental hygiene improvement project was launched with a total capital of US$77 million financed by the World Bank. After three years, only a few drain routes have been installed. Nevertheless, these drains are useless as they are unable to release floodwater.
So far, the project’s capital has risen to nearly US$94 million which is only enough to construct partially in the southern part of Nha Trang City.
The Khanh Hoa Province forbids people from catching and farming seafood in the Bay.
Accordingly, Nha Trang City will have to cooperate with relevant departments to clear all fishing and farming facilities on the water and beaches like Pham Van Dong and Tran Phu and in the surrounding islands by May.
However, several people have expressed concern that such a short notice might cause losses to the breeders.
Pham To from Vinh Nguyen Commune said that on April 29, he received a notice that he had one month to remove his fish farming cages for which he would receive a VND150, 000 per cage assistance. He felt this notice should have come at least a year in advance so that breeding could stop in the area.
Mai Tan from the same commune said that local residents agreed with the provincial policy to evacuate their farming cages, as it would make the Nha Trang Bay more beautiful. However, the time limit was too short and they do not know what to do with the seafood that is present ready to breed.