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  Enviroment Research & Protection

Locals take helm at marine reserve

Locals raise shrimp in raft-cages in Xuan Tu Hamlet, Van Ninh District, Khanh Hoa Province

The Ran Trao marine reserve in the Van Hung Commune, Van Ninh District, 60km from Nha Trang Township of Khanh Hoa Province, is the first marine reserve under the management of a local community in Viet Nam.

With assistance from the International Marinelife Alliance-Viet Nam (IMA-VN) since 2002, Ran Trao has been a locally managed reserve where rare species are well preserved in living coral reefs. Over the past two years, the local community and authorities in Van Ninh’s preservation of marine life have helped protect the environment and have increased local people’s incomes.

A nine-member group has kept watch over the reserve to detect violations of the protection regulations. They also disseminated information and encouraged the local community to protect the reserve.

Advised by scientists, local fishermen have learned how to make grafts to restore coral reefs. According to a recent IMA-VN survey, nearly 200 grafted coral clusters have grown well in natural conditions.

The protection and restoration of the coral reef in Ran Trao has created favourable conditions for shrimp and fish to develop. Around 300 species of shrimp and fish were found the area in March 2001, and now the figure has doubled.

Additionally, the restoration of coral reefs has also facilitated aquaculture by local farmers. About 70 per cent of households in Xuan Tu Hamlet now raise shrimp in raft-cages, earning VND100-200 million a year, which is much higher than their earnings from fishing in the past.

The shrimp farmers have also paid attention to environmental protection, ensuring safety for their production. Last year, the output of farmed aquatic products in the area increased 30 per cent compared to the output before the establishment of the reserve.

To ease the work on marinelife preservation, members of the observation group have become the volunteers and advisors in the new farming technique of raising blue mussels and sea cucumbers along with lobsters, which help purify the water while facilitating the development of the lobsters.

VNS - (29/10/2004)

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