The waters of UNESCO heritage site and tourist attraction Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam is no longer filled with trash and styrofoam buoys following a months-long cleanup campaign.
Do Tien Thanh, an environmental sanitation official at the Ha Long Bay Management Board, boarded a boat on Monday to check garbage collection activities in the bay.
He said: “There was almost no garbage left and the water was clear blue. Since late May the waters have been cleaner.”
The board said most of the styrofoam waste came from seafood farming households who dumped it in the waters after removing or relocating their fish cages.
Many foreign tourists have complained about trash in the bay, saying they would never return, prompting local authorities to swing into action.
Authorities dispatched 20 barges, eight boats and dozens of people for a clean-up campaign.
Since early March 10,000 cubic meters of rubbish was collected, they said.
Since 2019 single-use plastic has been banned on tourist boats.
“However, many tourists hide water bottles in their backpacks and we cannot search them,” Thanh said.
Now trash is collected from the bay every day.
Around 14 tons of garbage is collected each month, Thanh added.
Since its recognition as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, Ha Long Bay has entrenched itself on the global tourism map, receiving rave reviews from travel bloggers and filmmakers for its emerald green waters and towering limestone islands topped by forests.