Rare marine species under serious threat in Vietnam

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Some 234 marine species are facing extinction in Vietnam, according to a new atlas of rare sea organisms.


The atlas, published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Seafood General Department on Monday, categorizes several species as "extinct in the wild" or "critically endangered."


Chu Tien Vinh, deputy chief of the department, told a press conference held to release the book that sea species were significant contributors to Vietnam's economy. But he said too many were currently under the threat of extinction due to the over-fishing of Vietnamese waters and other reasons.


Vietnam is now home to some 130,000 boats exploiting aquatic resources, but Vinh said it would be difficult to cut down on the number without crushing local fishermen's livelihoods.


He said the only solution was to protect the resources by breeding sea creatures sustainably.


Also at the press conference, the department announced two plans to zone 45 new sea reserves through 2020 with the total investment of VND545 billion (US$28.7 million).

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