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Preserving marine life in Nha Trang

2009-11-27 (GMT + 7)

The central coast city of Nha Trang takes pride in its bay. Actually, the whole country does as this body of water has been recognized as one of the world’s 29 most beautiful bays. With its pristine beaches, Nha Trang attracts tourists to enjoy world class scuba diving, snorkeling, squid fishing and surfing. But if you need a rest from all the sunshine on your skin, visit the Nha Trang Oceanography Museum located inside the Institute of Oceanography.

The institute, the first marine life research center in Vietnam, was built by the French in 1923 and is home to several well preserved marine specimens.

Visitors are dazzled by the thousands of specimens of more than 4,000 sea and freshwater species, including live animals, in the aquariums.

For a mere VND5,000 per person, groups of ten or more can follow a tour guide through the institute. The shark tanks are a thrill as these ancient animals display their prowess and razor sharp teeth.

Many different types of fish in diverse sizes, shapes and colors, as well as colorful corals, mollusks and crustaceans, fill the institute.

The institute displays numerous giant fossil shells, the skeleton of a whale which is 26 meters long and three meters tall and was buried underground for around 200 years and the biodiversity of mangrove forests and coral reefs.

The first floor of the institute is a gallery displaying fishing boats and nets and modern devices for off-shore fishing such as radars and compasses. The exhibition area also features a skeleton of a Dugong, a large marine mammal.

Many creatures have been hunted to extinction or have succumbed to climate change or the devastated ecology.

The institute calls on visitors to respect nature and protect the animals.

Source: VietNamNet/SGT

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