Establishment for Ly Son marine reserve area announced

Friday, 2017-02-17 03:23:28
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The sea around Ly Son Island possesses diverse ecosystems and an abundance of aquatic species. (Credit: NDO/Ha Phuong)
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NDO – The central province of Quang Ngai on February 16 announced a decision to establish its Ly Son marine protected area (MPA) covering Ly Son Island District, aiming to maintain and protect marine biodiversity and resources while improving livelihoods for locals.

Invested with a total capital of VND33.8 billion, it is the 16th marine protected area officially established in Vietnam so far under a master planning for Vietnam’s MPA development by 2020 approved by the Prime Minister.

According to the decision signed by the Chairperson of Quang Ngai Provincial People's Committee, Ly Son MPA covers around 8,000 ha, consisting of 7,113 ha of marine surface area.

The MPA is divided into three functional areas, including a strictly protected area to reserve tidal ecosystems, seagrass and coral reefs at a depth of 3-20 m, an ecological restoration zone in the areas of Ly Son’s Lon (big) Islet and Be (little) Islet of nearly 2,000 ha, and a development zone on an area of 4,500 ha, including Ly Son’s sea harbour and surrounding parts.

In addition, the decision also clearly defines a protection belt for the conservation area and surrounding 2,500 ha around it.

Activities such as environmental protection, preventing illegal exploitation of biological resources, ecosystem restoration, archaeological exploration, and community-based tourism development will be deployed during implementation of marine conservation programmes for Ly Son MPA.

According to Duong Van To, head of the Quang Ngai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the waters around Ly Son are considered home to diverse ecosystems and abundant aquatic species with many listed in Vietnam’s Red Book.

The establishment of Ly Son MPA aims to maintain and protect marine resources and biodiversity, as well as helping to raise locals’ awareness and create favourable conditions for improving people's livelihoods, economic and tourism development, and facilitate management and sustainable use of fisheries resources, To said.

On the occasion, Quang Ngai also established a management board for Ly Son MPA and launched a campaign to clean Ly Son beach.

Ly Son Island District is located northeast of Quang Ngai Province, 15 nautical miles off the mainland. It is a strategic position for defence and security on both land and sea for the central region. The island covers an area of over 10 km2 with three communes of An Vinh, An Hai and An Binh, with a total population of about 22,000 people, of whom 40% live mainly on fishing.

The island district has been set by the Government in the expansion plan for over 45,300 ha of the Dung Quat Economic Zone and as a key position for national territorial protection.