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Underwater forest adds glitter to central Vietnam beach

By Lan Huong, Nguyen Cuong   June 11, 2022 | 05:45 am PT
The Nhon Hai Beach in Quy Nhon presents an attractive emerald-golden tapestry between May and July as the sargassum seaweed reaches full growth.
Underwater forest adds glitter to central Vietnam beach

Nhon Hai Beach, about 30 km from the south central beach town Quy Nhon, has been gathering increasing attention of tourists in recent years.

Locals say that layers of the seaweed called Sargassum which usually thrives on coral reefs and underwater rocks emerge from the water surface once they are fully grown, during the dry season between May and July, resembling an "underwater golden forest."

This is also the most ideal time to harvest the seaweed that is used as medicine for goiter and as fertilizer, so this is the time of year that fishermen get out in their coracles with fishing nets.

Underwater forest adds glitter to central Vietnam beach

The underwater seaweed forest is a seafood bounty for local fisherfolk who say they try their best not to disrupt the seaweed ecosystem while fishing.

Underwater forest adds glitter to central Vietnam beach

To harvest the seaweed, fishermen work from dawn, using motorboats or coracles to reach the seaweed forest. They have to wait till the tide recedes to start harvesting.

Underwater forest adds glitter to central Vietnam beach

Seaweed harvesting became a profession in the Nhon Hai sea area since 2008, when traders showed keen interest in buying it.

Every year, locals harvest hundreds of tons of seaweed and dry them before selling to traders. It has become a seasonal trade that helps fishermen earn extra income.

Underwater forest adds glitter to central Vietnam beach

The seaweed season between May and July is also said to be the best time to farm squid in cages of 40 to 80 individuals each. The squid are fed twice a day (7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.). Each batch of squid takes about 70-80 days to mature.

Underwater forest adds glitter to central Vietnam beach

The seaweed plays a role in creating a habitat for reproduction of fish and turtles. Therefore, local fishermen say they only harvest old stalks and leave the roots for the seaweed to grow again.

Those in town to witness or participate in the VnExpress Marathon in Quy Nhon this Sunday can visit the Hai Giang Peninsula, around six kilometers from Quy Nhon, to see the underground golden forest and watch local harvest the seaweed.

Photos by Nguyen Cuong

 
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