Viet Nam: Ha Long Bay boat waste collection and treatment: final report, 2016. USAID; IUCN.
There are approximately 500 boats cruising through the bay waters, of which about 300 are dayboat and 200 are overnight-boats. In this report, bay waters refers to the three bays: Ha Long, Bai Tu Long and Lan Ha. Many of the boats that operate in the bay can be compared to floating hotels and thus generate lots of waste: both solid waste and waste water but also air pollutants (black fumes) and noise pollution.
Waste water includes black water (toilet waste), grey water (wastewater from sinks, baths,
showers and laundry) and bilge water (oily water that accumulates in the lowest part of a
ship). Hereafter, we identify and recommend concrete solutions to collect and treat waste water from such cruise boats and remove floating waste from the bay’s water. Indeed, it is necessary to implement active and concrete measures in order to address the decreasing environmental quality of the Ha Long Bay and restore the unique natural beauty of this important tourist location and World Heritage Site.
In order to tackle the pollution, a waste management system should be established, investment in mobile cleaning boats should be called for and appropriate ports, equipment and a training program for cruise company staff and crew should be implemented, as well as a regular briefing of cruise passengers about the impacts of pollution on the bay. At the same time, regulations relative to cruise companies and port waste management must be issued and strict enforcement of all directives must be carried out on a regular basis. Corrective actions should be taken to address non-compliance cases. Most importantly, a cleaning company should be designated and given full authority to carry out the cleaning work with appropriate resources and should be accountable for their performance and achievement of targets.