Bali's popular beachfront of Kuta has been hit by a double assault of flotsam brought ashore by seasonal winds in combination with a massive plankton infestation that has turned the water on the beach into an unappetizing dark brown color.
According to Beritabali.com, tourists have been advised not to swim in the ocean at Kuta in order to avoid skin rashes or other potential health risks.
Because of dark color of the waters and the large amount of debris scattered along the beach, tourist visitors to the beach are reported to be markedly down. A Russian tourist, Yvgeny, said: "With the condition of the water polluted like this, it's better we swim in another location. The beach water is really dirty."
The Quarantine Laboratory of the Ministry of the Sea and Fisheries for the Badung regency have visited the beach and taken samples of the water for further analysis. Putu Eja Sudaryatma, the person in charge of the laboratory, told the press on March 2, 2011: "From the examination of the sample we know there has been a decrease in the PH or acidity rating of the sea water from a normal level of 7 to a level of PH 4. The decline in PH levels has causes the massive die-off in the plankton which, in turn, has made the water a dirty brown color.
Putu said the high levels of bacterial pollution may be linked to the large amounts of waste discharged into the sea where it is interacting with high water temperatures.
With the heavy concentrations of rotting plankton in the waters off Kuta, swimmers are being advised not enter the water for fear that the water could pose a threat to health. Officials of the Sea and Fisheries Ministries are unable to predict when the polluted waters will clear except to say they are conducting regular samplings and will announce once the plankton die-off cycle has come to an end.
A check at other beaches at Jimbaran, Nusa Dua and Sanur in the southern part of the island suggest that the natural pollution problem is limited to the main beach areas at Kuta.
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