Phu Quoc was once known for its beautiful coral colonies. But after bleaching killed most of them in 2010, the remaining coral reefs have not been protected well by locals and tourists.
According to a new Tuoi Tre report, irresponsible fisherfolk have killed many coral reefs when using chemicals to force fish to surface, while many tourists continue to collect corals from the sea to bring home as souvenir, without facing any legal consequences.
The report said a couple of tourists from Australia, whose Great Barrier Reef is known worldwide for its corals, visited Phu Quoc recently after hearing many good things about the coral reefs here.
But they left after one day, saying they could not bear watching other tourists destroying the endangered species, which plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy marine system.
A local diver who works as a tour guide said most foreign visitors were upset with the way the corals are being wiped out.
Official data showed that in many parts around the southern island, the dead corals have outnumbered the living ones.
Many tour guides are now worried that divers will stop coming to the island if the corals here continue to be killed.
Managers at Phu Quoc coral conservation center, which expands nearly 10,000 hectares to the south of the island, said the dying corals will not only affect the diving industry, but they can lead to the death of other sea creatures like star fish and sea cucumbers.