The Spratly waters are among the most densely maritime areas globally. Da Lat Island is situated in the southern center of the East Sea, obstructing Fiery Cross Reef, a crucial passage for most ships entering and exiting the Strait of Malacca.
This area is also a familiar base for Vietnamese fishermen during offshore fishing expeditions, which are often lengthy and fraught with challenges. The extended duration of these sea voyages necessitates the provision of fuel, food, and ship maintenance at sea. Additionally, fishermen require on-sea rescue and repair facilities to prevent avoidable accidents. Moreover, the high cost of equipment contributes to significant losses in offshore seafood.
The Vietnamese government consistently promotes offshore fishing to foster marine economic development and alleviate the strain on coastal marine resources. The expansion of offshore fishing fleets is a crucial initial step for Vietnam to establish a maritime militia force, effectively balancing economic, defense, and security interests while advancing sea-based production activities.
In general, fishermen require safe havens and shelters to seek refuge from storms when returning to shore is impractical or cost-prohibitive. During such times, the submerged islands in the Truong Sa island district serve as shelters for fishermen during storms. This necessity led to the inception of the fishery service and logistics center project on Da Lat Island, Truong Sa island district.
Da Lat Island possesses all the essential elements to function as an international transit station, a refuge for emergencies, a safe haven from storms, and a logistical support hub for ships following a lengthy journey through the Strait of Malacca.
However, in the waters of Truong Sa, the need to expand the exploited land area in the sea and islands in order to protect sovereignty has led to a competition to level and renovate artificial islands on coral reefs. This has resulted in serious environmental degradation and loss of marine biodiversity, as well as an increase in environmental incidents, all due to negative human behavior, posing a threat to the ecosystem and leading to the extinction of some rare marine species.
Therefore, in order to rapidly, effectively, and sustainably develop the marine economy, Vietnam needs to focus on green solutions more than ever. Specifically, the concept of a floating city can serve the function of fisheries logistics.
As a result, the following solutions have been proposed for the project:
1. Position the construction inside the reefs (inner depressions): This involves utilizing the reefs (shallow coral belts) as shields, along with existing structures such as lighthouses and tall houses forming a tripod, making it easier to manage the island population. Weak structures are repurposed into defensive elements.
2. Least impact on the coral surface: The approach involves structuring a floating city instead of leveling or embellishing to create an artificial floating island. The structures are interconnected into a closed loop, enhancing the ability to efficiently circulate goods for a logistics and transshipment center.
3. Modularize the structure on many scales from large to small: Modularization supports the process of breaking down the construction phase, reducing economic burden, and being adaptable to various future scenarios.
4. Diversify and increase the use of renewable energy: The project aims to utilize renewable energy sources available around the sea in order to become an independent structure capable of diverse transformations.