A British diver has captured shocking images of himself swimming through a sea of plastic rubbish off the coast of the Indonesian tourist resort of Bali.
A short video posted by diver Rich Horner on his social media account and on YouTube shows the water densely strewn with plastic waste and yellowing food wrappers, the occasional tropical fish darting through the deluge.
The footage was shot at a dive site called Manta Point, a cleaning station for the large rays on the island of Nusa Penida, about 20km from the popular Indonesian holiday island of Bali.
In a Facebook post on 3 March Horner writes how the ocean currents had carried in a “lovely gift” of jellyfish and plankton, and also mounds and mounds of plastic.
“Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic sheets, plastic buckets, plastic sachets, plastic straws, plastic baskets, plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic,” he says, “So much plastic!”
The video shows Horner swimming through the mess for several minutes and also how the waste coagulated on the surface, mixing in with some organic matter to form a slick of floating rubbish.
Manta Point is regularly frequented by numerous manta rays that visit the site to get cleaned of parasites by smaller fish, but the video shows just one lone manta in the background.
“Surprise, surprise, there weren’t many mantas there at the cleaning station today…” notes Horner, “They mostly decided not to bother.”
Rubbish has been inundating Bali for several months now, washing over mainly from the neighbouring island of Java during the annual rainy, or “trash” season.
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Kate Lamb