Cat Ba

Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve, an archipelago in northern Vietnam, which is adjacent to the Ha Long Bay World Heritage site, is internationally important for its limestone karst geomorphology and one of the best examples in the world of a fengcong and fenglin karst landscape invaded by the sea. The 366 limestone islands contain landforms, cave and cave deposits that provide evidence of a long history of erosion and landscape evolution.


Declaration Date: 2004
Surface Area: 26,241 ha
Administrative Division: Hai Phong City

Human Activities

  • Spatial planning of marine area for fishing, fish-cageculture among others as model for conservation and development
  • Quality economy with eco-marketing local products includinghoney, fish-sours, orange and vegetation
  • Eco-tourism in the national park with various measuresof control
  • Tourism promoted by local community and private sector  

Ecological Characteristics

© Cat Ba BR

As a large island in the Halong Bay, there are 2,026 species found in the biosphere reserve including 199 phytoplankton, 89 zooplankton, 75 seaweed, 23 mangroves, 160 corals, 475 zoobenthonic organisms, 119 fish, three seagrasses, 142 species of terrestrial fauna, and 741 plants.

Many species are endemic and rare, the most significant being the globally important Golden headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), restricted in range to Cat Ba Island and found nowhere else in the world.

The Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) which is found in the Cat Ba region is listed in the Red Data book, the seahorse (Hippocampus spp.) is also rare and threatened. Mangroves and segrasses in Cat Ba are as a nursery ground for the life in the bay, and protective buffers for local people from storm surges and typhoon driven from climate change and sea level rise.

Protection Classifications

At the national level
Cat Ba National Park, Proposed Cat Ba Marine Protected
Area (MPA)

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                                                                                             Last updated : July 2011

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