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Chinese tourist’s coral-snatching raises netizens’ ire

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-05-09 14:14

An online post on May 1 that said a Chinese female tourist took coral out of the sea in the Maldives has triggered public concern over the marine bio-environment, Youth Daily reported on Tuesday. The picture, uploaded by the tourist, who asked if the coral was beautiful, shocked a Chinese diving coach in the Maldives who saw it online. The coach’s colleague wrote a post criticizing the tourist’s behavior and expressing hope that she will return the coral to the sea.

Dai Xiaojie, a marine environment professor at Shanghai Ocean University, told Youth Daily that not all the coral is protected, but tourists cannot distinguish between them. “Tourists should appreciate the beauty of the aquatic animals with their eyes, instead of taking them out of the sea,” Dai said. Travel tips for the Maldives say it is illegal to take living coral and souvenirs from wrecks out of the sea in the country.

It is also illegal to remove shells from the islands or to purchase any items made from turtles. According to the Maldives government, nearly 230,000 Chinese tourists visited the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2012, a year-on-year increase of about 15.6 percent, Xinhua News Agency reported in February.

Chinese tourist’s coral-snatching raises netizens’ ire

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