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Vietnam and adjacent Bien Dong (South China Sea)
Nhan, D.D.; Duc, N.X.; Duong, D.H.; Tiep, N.T.; Que, B.C. (2000). Vietnam and adjacent Bien Dong (South China Sea), in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. pp. 561-568
In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 920 pp., more

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Document type: Review


Authors  Top 
  • Nhan, D.D.
  • Duc, N.X.
  • Duong, D.H.
  • Tiep, N.T.
  • Que, B.C., more

    This chapter presents an overview of the main features of the Bien Dong (South China) Sea off the coast of Vietnam and the current status of its environment. This is still not a well studied marine area, despite its large size. ~e formation and circulation of water masses are mainly determined by the seasonally reversing monsoon winds in the region. As a consequence its salinity varies strongly with the seasons. The shallow seas support a high biodiversity , containing varied habitats including littoral forest, mangrove forest and coral reefs. So far large numbers of different species have been recorded, including 537 species of phytoplankton, 657 species of zooplankton, 853 species of algae, 92 mangroves and about 6,000 species of zoobenthos. The region is known to contain at least 2,000 species of marine fishes. The coastal and shallow marine environment is under pressure from industrialization and from general development, and current low levels of pollution reflect mainly this low level of industrialisation since pollution control is very limited. The coastal region has intensive agricultural activities to support the population growth, and fertilizer run-off and agrochemical residues from agricultural activities seem to be of increasing concern. Other problems are conversion and loss of large areas of estuarine habitat, including the rich mangroves, which are converted for shrimp and fish farming, which has also led to salt water intrusion inland. A system of legislation is being developed. Foremost of these are Presidential Ordinances, Governmental decrees and lnter-ministerial Circulars which both direct and implement laws. However, a wider cooperation among scientists and managers in Vietnam, as elsewhere, is obviously needed to solve many of the existing problems.

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