In a major move following last year’s ‘Big Clean-up’, Bhaya cruises in collaboration with the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance have taken critical steps in preserving the natural beauty of Halong Bay and its surrounding waters. Darius Postma, of HG Holdings, delivered a presentation on behalf of the alliance to the leadership committee on the impact of ocean pollution on marine eco-systems, especially the devastating impact of Polystyrene, an EPA classed cacogenic classified as one of the top five dirtiest production processes.
The efforts of this alliance have resulted in the Halong Bay Peoples Committee banning the use of polystyrene and calling for the implementation of an environmentally friendly alternative.
“The importance of this success cannot be understated,” said Darius Postma. “close to 50% of the garbage removed during our clean-up was polystyrene, and studies have shown this material to be devastating to local sea life and fauna, wildlife becomes addicted to it instead of the natural sources of food, and over time this cripples the local habitat.”
With the banning of polystyrene, the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance believes that the future of Halong Bay has become significantly brighter as wildlife will once again begin to prosper. Furthermore, it is believed that the destination will become increasingly attractive to tourists as the breathtaking beauty of the destination is secured for the foreseeable future.
Alongside the banning of Polystyrene, Bhaya group has continued in its mission to clean the bay of garbage and debris. On January 10th, in collaboration with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Coca Cola, MCD and Greenhub, the second bi-annual ‘Clean-up operation’ was launched with over 100 volunteer assistants. At the end of the operation, 244 bags of garbage were collected with a projected 664kg in weight. The team managed to clear a 1.1km stretch of coastline.
With the overwhelming success of the operation, Bhaya cruises, in collaboration with the IUCN, as part of the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance, are intending to conduct another event in the summer of 2017. The vision is to build this into an industry wide event occurring twice a year.
“We are incredibly proud of the initiatives we have helped to put in place,” Said Lý Thụy Huỳnh Như, managing director of Bhaya cruises. “It is our hope that with the progress already made, and the steps we will continue to make, Halong Bay will remain a beautiful destination for years to come”.
Bhaya cruises collected roughly 3000kg of garbage in 2016 through their onboard teams and were recognized by the Marine Center for Conservation and Community Development (MCD) for “promoting conservation, environmental protection and education initiatives in Halong Bay”. Lý Thụy Huỳnh Như accepted the award at a ceremony preceding the event presented by US ambassador, Ted Osius.