Ecosystem off Chàm Islands recovers after COVID-19

Less tourism activities and waste around the Chàm Islands – a world biodiversity reserve site – would help the marine ecosystem in waters off the islands recover after the two-month social distancing order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts and staff from the Chàm Island Maritime Protected Area (MPA) have made the statement after returning from a regular inspection on coral reefs and ecosystems at eight sites off the islands last week.

They said over-tourism resulted in degradation of the ecosystem off the islands in recent years.

During the two-month social distancing order, the islands, a popular attraction welcoming 2,000 tourists each day, did not record any diving tours or boat trips.

“Coral reef coverage was well developed, but we have been collecting detailed information for a final report on coral reefs. However, many bottom feeders were recorded in coral reefs, especially holothurian and sea urchins,” said Nguyễn Thị Thảo, a worker at the MPA.

“The number of fish species living in the coral reefs was less than in previous checks.”

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