Kelly Slater warns on Bali litter


Surf star warns on Bali litter

Georgia Loney, The West Australian Updated April 25, 2012, 3:00 am

Surfing champion Kelly Slater says Bali beaches are now so polluted surfing at the favourite holiday destination could soon be off limits.

Slater, 40, who hit the surf in Bali this week, turned to Twitter to sound the alarm over environmental issues plaguing Indonesia.

“I’ve never been so alarmed by the pollution situation as (on) this trip to Bali/Indo,” he tweeted on Monday.

“Worst I’ve ever seen.

“If Bali doesn’t do something serious about this pollution it’ll be impossible to surf here in a few years.”

Slater says he has seen medical waste, needles and plastic on the beaches and in the water.

“Disgusting, smelly water. Really sad.”

Slater’s call for solutions and “multi-industry backing” have been echoed by Australian surfers who say pollution in Indonesia has got worse over the past 20 years.

Tracks surfing magazine online editor Col Bernasconi said surfers regularly reported seeing “islands of rubbish” in the water at some beaches.

“You just see balls of plastic rubbish, or islands of rubbish,” he said. “It’s a matter of education.”

Bali-based surf tour operator Leo Walsh, who surfed with Slater on Friday, said pollution had long been a problem on the island.

“I guess the biggest problem is on the west coast from Kuta to Canggu by far, with all the overbuilding going on metres from the beach, this is pushing more trash than ever into these parts of Bali’s surf breaks.

“But Bali is still the best island of fun and surf.” Quiksilver South-East Asia marketing executive Holly Monkman said the surf gear company was helping tackle water and beach pollution.

The Bali tourism boom had caused an influx of plastic waste, she said.

Miss Monkman said Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil employed 78 local people to clean Bali beaches daily, from Jimbaran to Seminyak…

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