Hard corals are regenerated on concrete embankments in Cu Lao Cham


According to information from local residents, since mid-2019, a large number of hard corals groups have grown and developed relatively well on the concrete embankments in Cu Lao Cham. The management board of Cham island Marine Protected Area (MPA) has conducted a rapid monitoring in the field and discovered two areas with newly grown coral.

+ Area 1: Water area at the foot of embankment in front of Mr. Huynh Tri's house, Bai Lang village/hamlet, there are 5 groups of hard corals, most of which are Montipora vietnamiensis Veron, 2000 ; the largest group size of the group is measured 40 centimeter in diameter and the smallest is 10 centimeter.

+ Area 2: The water area in the north of Bai Huong wharf, there are newly grown corals in high densenity, most of which are Acropora hyacinthus (Dana, 1846). The largest size of the groups here is up to 1 meter in diameter.



Fig 1. Front view of Mr. Huynh Tri’ house, Bai Lang village



Fig 2,3. New corals grows on Bai Lang concrete embankments



Fig 4,5. View along Bai Hương village wharf





Fig 6,7,8,9. Groups of new coral grow on the foot of Bai Huong wharf

Montipora vietnamiensis Veron, 2000: This species is found in Central India – Pacific. In Vietnam, this species is widely distributed in many places except the Gulf of Tonkin. These coral groups are usually brown colour but the top of each branch is white, structured in cover plate or thin slab with short, straight, intertwined branches. Polyps are large and sunken, and the outer edge of the polyp bone is usually upright but irregular. They are often found in shallow reefs and rocky shores.

Acropora hyacinthus (Dana, 1846): This species is found in India - Pacific from the islands of Mascarene to Tahiti. In Vietnam, they are widely distributed throughout the northern region of the Tonkin Gulf. This group is cream, brown or green colored, the outer edge is lighter or blue colored. Bush-like branched structure - a thin slab or a circular canopy like a fork with a solid edge. They often form spiral, laminated or curved like a funnel. Axial polyp bones are protruding less than 2 mm , cylindrical with a deep hollow cup-shaped bone with a diameter of 0.6 to 1 mm. Side polyp bones are distributed around the axis of revolution and the branches form an asterisk . The outer bone of the polyps has extra partitions consisting of small, regular small shelves, tiny holes and arranged like fish scales on each part of the group. Corals are regenerating quite well in the patented areas, which are heavily influenced by constructions on the Island. This shows that the environment and seawater quality in Cu Lao Cham has gradually been improved. This is considered an achivement of the community and stakeholders in environmental protection and conservation of marine resources in Cu Lao Cham.

Regenerated corals are a positive signal, a motivation for residents and tourists to continue raising their awareness and responsibility for this island's valuable resource. At present, the newly regenerated coral populations are located close to residential areas, where boats, tourists and daily activities of people will certainly be a huge source of impact to the existence and development of these groups of lovely, immature corals.

In order to contribute to protecting the environment, landscape, natural resources in general and coral reefs in particular for future generations, creating strong attraction for visitors to Cu Lao Cham – the core zone the World Biosphere Reserve, every citizen should show own’s responsibility by taking specific actions:

1. Do not discharge waste into the sea, especially on the coral reefs;

2. Do not throw garbage into the sea, dispose garbage at prescribed places;

3. Do not break or step on the coral reefs;

4. Do not collect coral specimens, including dead corals;

5. Gathering coracles, fishing nets far from the coral reefs.

“Protecting the coral reefs is protecting the future for generations”

Thuy Trang, Ngoc Dien-Cham island MPA

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