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October 27, 2021, 2:09 am

Nha Trang beach flooded by sea urchins

(15:36:14 PM 21/08/2014)
( - Sea urchins have suddenly appeared on the beach of Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province. The entire coastal rescue team has been mobilized to clean the beach.

Nha Trang beach flooded by sea urchins

Nguyen Van Khanh, a member of the Coast Rescue Team of the Nha Trang Bay Management Department, says for the past few days, tourists were worred about stepping onto sea urchins. The thorns of this species are soft and thin so it is very difficult to pull them out of feet.

The Nha Trang Bay Management Department has mobilized the entire coast rescue team to collect sea urchins on the beach.

"Down at the depth of about one meter, you will see a thick layer of sea urchins. When the sun rises, they hide themselves under sand so we can catch them only in the morning," the leader of the Coast Rescue Team said.

Because of sea urchins, the beach of Nha Trang has become very quiet recently. Tran Khanh, a local resident, said he loved bathing at sea so he continued to go the beach. “My feet were hurt a lot by the thorns of the sea urchins. I don’t know whether it is dangerous or not,” Khanh said.

Truong Kinh, Head of the Management Board of Nha Trang Bay, said sea urchins have appeared since August 16. On August 17, the board sent staff to the beach to rake urchins. After three days they caught about 800 kg. Currently the coast rescue team is catching sea urchins. The animals are destroyed at the Nha Trang garbage dump. The board has also asked the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute to identify the reason for the phenomenon.

Nha Trang beach flooded by sea urchins

Dr. Vo Sy Tuan, Director of the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography said the appearance of the sea urchins was unusual. The Institute has never conducted studies on sea urchins, so it cannot explain the phenomenon. This species only hinders people from bathing at sea, and is not dangerous to humans.

He said in the current situation, the best measure is to catch sea urchins and destroy them. The Institute has collected some samples for research. Experts said that the phenomenon is related to many factors, but they excluded reproduction because their gonads are not developed.

"Their bodies have no meat so they are worthless in terms of nutrition. They cannot be used to feed aquaculture. We can only dry and grind them to produce animal feed or bury them to avoid pollution," Tuan added.

Nguyen An Khang, an expert on echinoderms from the Institute, said this species is one of four species of heart-shaped sea urchins, which have rarely appeared in Nha Trang beach. Typically, sea urchins live 1 m to 1.8 m under water. Their movement in huge quantities to the depth of less than 1 m is unusual.

Khang said that tourists should use lemons to scrape their feet if they step onto sea urchins since lemon juice can make the thorns melt.

T. Van

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