PADI Vietnam Dive Team Leader Nguyen Ha Minh Tri said that being an international diving instructor with over 23 years of experience in the diving industry, he has witnessed the transformation of coral reefs over time in all waters of Vietnam. In recent years, coral reefs around the world have gradually died due to climate change, environmental pollution and human destruction, gradually the coral area has been greatly reduced.
According to Tri, if this situation continues, soon humans will no longer see beautiful coral reefs. Therefore, he and his fellow students and partners came up with ideas for growing coral. They will carry out the coral culture programs in the places where they were going.
Currently, the group includes several dozen members from localities such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, An Giang, Kien Giang, Lao Cai, Hai Phong who have professional diving licenses. In mid-May, the group should have organized a three-day tour combining tourism and the recreation of marine corals in Vinh Hy Bay in Nha Trang City.
However, this activity has now been moved to July due to bad weather and material not arriving in time.
The coral culture work has been studied and tested by Mr. Minh Tri’s group, from a few small branches in the waters of Nha Trang by the method of gluing the coral directly to the rock and the block of dead coral with the cement and the binder. He announces that after almost 4 months, these coral branches are growing very well and are healthy.
In addition, the group also planted 2 coral platforms on pylons according to the nursery model in the waters of Ninh Thuan for two months and the results are also positive as 90% of the corals incubated here have germinated and are growing very well while about 10% are covered with moss, so they are a bit fragile for lack of light.
After cultivation, the team regularly observes and monitors the growth of the coral branches and is happy to see them healthy, sprouting, coloring and especially small fish.
“We don’t get discouraged or give up because before implementing the program, all participants determined that growing coral is not like growing trees. Surely we have to wait 5-10 years or maybe a few decades to see. That’s why we named the trip “Planting a Branch of Coral – Giving it to Future Generations,” Tri said.
He said this activity can only be done with the consent of the local government and the support of the people living there. Fortunately, from the beginning, the group always received encouragement from the locals and they considered it a source of motivation to continue doing the program.
In particular, the activities of the group are entirely non-profit. To maintain the budget, members purchase materials and machinery together. Although some units offered to sponsor the program, the group did not accept it because the funding was not significant.
Mr. Minh Tri shared that the message of the group is that people should participate in the preservation and protection of coral reefs because coral reefs help us protect the coast, avoid big waves and are the habitat and the development of aquatic animals. If the coral reef disappears, it also means that we will have no more fish, shrimp, snails and other aquatic species and seafood, and the tourism industry will also be badly affected.
The coral culture of the PADI dive team is only the beginning, and the journey ahead is very long. Mr. Minh Tri said that in order to replicate this model, after 6 months of studying and monitoring the growth of the planted coral branches, if more than 70% of the coral reefs are alive and well developed, the group will announce how plant coral reefs. on social media sites and asking people to join hands to regenerate coral reefs across the country.
The more people involved in this work, the better chance coral reefs have of recovering, said Minh Tri.