Announced at a recent meeting, these four new diving sites are located in the northern part of Hon Rua Island, an artificial reef area in Vinh Hoa Ward, the northeastern part of Tri Nguyen Island, and the waters between Bai Tranh and Bai Soi beaches.

According to Huynh Binh Thai, head of the Nha Trang Bay management authority, the relevant agencies have agreed to the pilot opening of these four new diving sites.

Huynh Binh Thai also mentioned that the Institute of Oceanography in Nha Trang has proposed evaluating the ecosystem of these locations to arrange suitable diving activities based on scale and frequency.

A coral reef ecosystem in Nha Trang Bay, located in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Chuong / Tuoi Tre

A coral reef ecosystem in Nha Trang Bay, located in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Chuong / Tuoi Tre

During the meeting, several travel companies expressed concerns regarding the challenges posed by the introduction of these four new diving sites.

A local dive guide, Vo Minh Tin, pointed out logistical challenges for the two diving sites in the northern part of Hon Rua Island and the artificial reef area in Vinh Hoa due to their considerable distance and lack of docks for convenient transportation of tourists to these diving spots.

As a solution, Huynh Binh Thai suggested a cooperative approach among diving tour operators, where they could share private docks such as Ana Marina and another one near the Amiana resort.

The dive guide also emphasized the importance of implementing regulations and recommendations for diving activities to preserve the ecosystem once the four new diving spots receive approval for operation.

Dinh Van Thieu, vice-chairman of the provincial administration, urged relevant agencies to assess the condition of coral reefs and provide detailed reports to the provincial administration.

Thieu emphasized the need for a cautious approach in the pilot opening of these new diving sites, balancing the promotion of local tourism with the preservation of the marine ecosystem.

Visitors are not allowed to take single-use plastic items along with them during trips to islands in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Visitors are not allowed to take single-use plastic items along with them during trips to islands in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre

Participating in the meeting, the attendees discussed measures to reduce plastic waste and protect the marine ecosystem.

Le Thi Bich Huyen, vice-president of the Vietnam Women’s Union in Nha Trang, mentioned that the union and the Nha Trang Bay management authority have provided over 300 trash bins for 300 households in Vinh Luong Commune and Tri Nguyen Island for waste classification.

Huyen explained that a significant portion of the collected waste will be transformed into bio-fertilizer, while recyclable waste will be sold to generate funds to support the union’s operations.

The Vietnam Women’s Union in Vinh Luong also supplied 130 mesh bags to fishermen for use as trash bags. Within just two fishing trips, local fishermen successfully collected over two metric tons of plastic waste.

Starting from October 1 of this year, strict measures have been implemented to combat plastic pollution in the Nha Trang region. Tour operators and tourists are now prohibited from bringing non-biodegradable plastic bags and single-use plastic items to the Nha Trang Tourist Pier and during their excursions to island destinations.

Household businesses in the tourist pier area are also restricted from using and trading non-biodegradable plastic bags and single-use plastic items.

According to the Nha Trang Bay management authority, the coastal city is home to seven diving sites, with six located on Hon Mun Island.

Last year, swimming and scuba diving activities were suspended in the areas around Hon Mun Island to revive its damaged coral reef.

As a result, Hon Rom Island has experienced an influx of tourists engaging in swimming and diving activities.