The central province of Khanh Hoa will inspect the purchasing and harvesting of coral in Van Ninh District to curb the illegal activities in the area, says deputy chief inspector Le Van Dung today.
Dung, from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, says the interdisciplinary inspecting team includes his department's inspectors, Environmental police, Border Guards and local authorities. They will focus on the inspection of the illegal harvesting and purchasing of coral from June.
Dung says recently, the exploitation and transportation of coral has been very complicated in the coastal communes of Van Ninh district. Exploiters do not only get corals illegally with simple tools, they even use excavators, air scoops, and cars to get and transport the corals at a maximum volume.
Many of the exploiters even fight against the authorities if they are asked for a check, the inspector adds.
According to local information, illegal coral exploiting has boomed in recent years from an increasing demand from coral traders who hire local people to exploit coral for their production purposes. Coral can be processed as lime, fine art, garment materials or lobster traps. They also report that the price for it is high, ranging from for VND300,000-600,000(US$15-30) per cu.m of coral.
Nguyen Van Loc, vice chairman of Van Hung commune, says though they regularly check the operation in the commune, they cannot yet fix the problem as most of the exploiters are poor villagers and cannot be treated as the traders from HCM City.
Loc adds that most of the provincial coastal areas has the same problem. The exploiters even set up markets for trading the coral in the communes of Van Hung, Thanh Van and Ninh Hai.
That's why, according to inspector Dung, inspections will be strict.
Besides the inspection and treatment of violators, inspector Dung says they will also promote education in communes and open training courses.
According to research, coral reefs in Khanh Hoa Province with most of the best beaches in Viet Nam are the habitat for flora and aquatic plants. They play an important role in the protection against seawater intrusion. If they are destroyed for illegal profit, increased sea water erosion hazards and degraded aquatic resources are likely.--VNS