A top American surfer and long-time visitor to Bali has said that the pollution in the island’s seas is the worst he has ever seen.
Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater, often regarded as the most successful professional surfer of all time, was in Bali earlier this month, and made his feelings know via social-media network Twitter.
“I’ve never been so alarmed by pollution situation as this trip to Bali/Indo. We need solutions and multi-industry backing,” he wrote. “If Bali doesn’t #DoSomething serious about this pollution it’ll be impossible to surf here in a few years. Worst I’ve ever seen.”
Slater has some 18,000 Twitter followers.
He reported that pollution was not only confined to Bali.
“Friends just returned from surf trek to outer Indo and said pollution was unbelievable even there,” he wrote, adding that while surfing in south Bali he had seen vast quantities of waste in the water: “Everything. Plastic, random rubbish, medical waste/needles on beach. Disgusting. Smelly water. Really sad.”
There has as yet been no response to the surfer’s criticism from the Bali authorities, but high profile international criticism has prompted action in the past. Last year a highly critical article in Time magazine about Bali’s environmental and infrastructure problems prompted the provincial government to attempt a clean-up.
Surfing is a key attraction in Bali’s tourist industry, with some of the earliest pioneering tourists of the 1970s coming to the island to surf.