"I will stop worrying about the ocean once I die.” - Wayan Nyo
These were the words of 90 year old, Wayan Nyo – a Bali residing fisherman who catches more than fish. Ever since he was 10 years old, the oceans of Bali have been Wayan’s favorite refuge and activity. He would spend his days accompanied by his fishing nets in the sea he fell in love with. But Wayan's routine did not remain exactly the same after a few decades. It's well known that the oceans have changed since globalization - as a result, the big fish he once pulled out with his net have been replaced by trash.
At his age, Wayan Nyo still goes out with his nets and mesh bags on the beaches of Bali, where he finds his greatest happiness and purpose. The purpose to connect to the ocean remains the same, yet the activity through which he accomplishes this has unintentionally changed. He no longer encounters the same excitement and livelihood of sea life. Instead, he is met with tons of garbage and toxins polluting the ocean.
Voice Above Water is the short documentary in which he shows us more on his life and routine.
Wayan recalls: “Today I can't catch these animals anymore because the plastic pushed them away. I was so upset that I took the trash on my boat to the coast. There was even more garbage in the ocean. I brought it all the way to shore so they could take it. I see people dumping waste into the ocean, I bet they don't realize the damage and pollution they cause.”
And Wayan is right, because according to PlasticOceans:
Approximately 10 Million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year.
Less than 9% of all plastic gets recycled.
1 million marine animals are killed by plastic pollution every year.
There will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050.
These statistics are alarming, but one man's efforts to save the ocean have done more than many others could. Since 2000, Wayan has collected around 62,000 pieces of garbage from the ocean.
In his closing statement, Wayan mentions the current situation and his wishes for the future of his island:
“I'm worried about plastic in the sea, one day it will cover and ruin the ocean. We need to clean it up. My grandchildren joined me in cleaning the beach. Now it's time for people in Indonesia to come together and help. I want my island to return to what it used to be."
Written by Aurora Hyseni