Imagine finding 305 bottle caps, 120 lighters and 254 odd flip-flops at a beach near you. What would you do? PADI Instructor Joanna Hurford collected so much trash she decided to get creative and raise awareness about the rubbish issue in Indonesia and marine debris worldwide.
“At Trawangan Dive — located on the island of Gili Trawangan in Indonesia — we organise regular beach clean-ups and Dive Against Debris," says Joanna Hurford. "Ten beach clean-ups and lots of bags of rubbish later, I produced a video to show how many of the same items you find. Marine debris can take hundreds of years to break down and until it does, it damages the aquatic life and the marine environment. I wanted to show just how many ‘silent killers’ are polluting our island paradise.”
In the true spirit of recycling old trash, Joanna reused 217 bottle caps and 63 lighters from the video to create a Turtle Artwork for World Ocean Day. The event showcased the effects of bycatch and pollution on our fragile marine environment. Using beautifully painted recycled plastic bottles, fish were shaped and attached to a net, to highlight a common fishing practice seen around Gili Trawangan, net fishing. This threatens already endangered marine animals frequently seen around the Gilis, like white-tip sharks and green turtles, through entanglement and drowning, and discarding non-targeted species that are caught back into the ocean.
The Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air — just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Because of the abundant marine life and stunning coral reefs, diving in and around the Gilis is hugely popular.