A powerful photo that speaks volume, captured by one of the finalist in the Wildlife Photojournalist Award 2017 by The National History Museum in London, Justin Hofman. The photo was taken late last year in Sumbawa island, Indonesia that’s known for its turquoise waters and sandy beaches.
After a long and tiring day of an expedition, Hofman almost didn’t get into the water when a companion on the trip pointed out the tiny sea horse floating on the surface. But he did anyway, from trying to encapsulate the benign sea creature grasping on a piece of sea grass, the imagery quickly turned into a disheartening scene as it grabs onto a plastic cotton bud.
It’s a photo that I wish didn’t exist but now that it does I want everyone to see it. What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little sea horse turned into one of frustration and sadness as the incoming tide brought with it countless pieces of trash and sewage. This sea horse drifts long with the trash day in and day out as it rides the currents that flow along the Indonesian archipelago. This photo serves as an allegory for the current and future state of our oceans. What sort of future are we creating? How can your actions shape our planet? . thanks to @eyosexpeditions for getting me there and to @nhm_wpy and @sea_legacy for getting this photo in front of as many eyes as possible. Go to @sea_legacy to see how you can make a difference. . #plastic #seahorse #wpy53 #wildlifephotography #conservation @nhm_wpy @noaadebris #switchthestick
Based on a study by the Environmental Health Perspectives published in 2015, Indonesia comes second place after China as the one biggest contributor of marine pollution with approximately 3.22 million metric tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste each year.
Justin Hofman feels responsible to share this experience with the world, especially with the current debris forecast to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050 and that’s not too long from where we are today.
In the world that we live in today, there are many alternatives within our reach to minimize waste. Not only will you transition into sustainable living but also save money while you’re at it.
“I feel so lucky that I am aware of not just the world around me, but my impact on it. We all have an impact, but whether that impact is positive or negative is up to us. I believe in taking responsibility, so I did.”