Ba Be National Park



Coral Reefs and Sea Life in Vietnam

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Set amid the warm waters of the tropics, Vietnam’s 2,037-mile (3,260-km) long coastline, with its numerous off shore islands, is home to many resplendent coral reefs. These extend from the cool waters of Halong Bay in the north, through the warmer seas off Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, to the remote Con Dao Islands in the south. They also provide an immensely diverse habitat for a variety of sea life. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has identified nearly 340 species of coral living in Vietnamese waters – almost 50 percent of the world’s coral species. Though most of the reefs here are endan gered by dynamite fish ing and cyanide poisoning, various organizations are working actively toward the preservation of Vietnam’s magnificent coral heritage.

The rare green turtle grows to 5 ft (1.5 m) in length and can weigh up to 440 lb (200 kg), making it the largest hard-shelled sea turtle.

Reef Ecosystem Coral reefs are composed of the skeletons of millions of algae and coral polyps, accumulated over millennia. They flourish best in clear tropical waters, and form an immensely diverse habitat for a range of life forms, includ ing mollusks, turtles, and a countless variety of brightly colored fish.

Moray eels frequent coral reefs to a depth of 656 ft (200 m). On average 5-ft (1.5-m) long, they are voracious predators that hide in crevices in the coral.

The cuttlefish, a small relative of the squid, has an internal shell, eight arms, and two tentacles cov ered with suckers for catching prey.

Stingrays are armed with a razor-sharp tail that is covered with toxic venom. Propelled by their large pectoral fins, these fish appear to fly through the water.

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