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A Warning from the Sea

U.S. Surfing Champion Kelly Slater: Baliís Beaches are Dangerously Polluted

(4/27/2012) American professional surfer and award-winning environmentalist Kelly Slater has sounded an ominous warning for Bali.

The legendary surfing champion is quoted in The Western Australian as declaring Bali beaches so polluted that surfing at his favorite holiday destination could soon become off limits.


The 40-year-old American sportsman, widely considered the world’s most successful surfing champion, used his substantial presence on the social networking Twitter (@kellyslater) to lambast the condition of the Indonesian seas saying, "I've never been so alarmed by the pollution situation as (on) this trip to Bali/Indo."

Labeling the conditions of Bali’s oceans the worst he’d ever seen, he continued, "If Bali doesn't do something serious about this pollution it'll be impossible to surf here in a few years."
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Slater complained of medical waste being dumped directly into local waterways.

Surfers now regularly see large islands of accumulated waste floating around the island.

One Bali surf operator was quoted, saying: "I guess the biggest problem is on the west coast from Kuta to Canggu by far, with all the overbuilding going on meters from the beach, this is pushing more trash than ever into these parts of Bali's surf breaks.

A number of hotels and restaurants in Bali’s South are thought to be pumping untreated sewerage into the local seas, with pipes spewing effluent into the water visible at low tide. Enforcement against business polluting Bali’s rivers and seas has been largely non-existent.

Surfing is a large and lucrative subset in Bali’s tourism mix, with a number of hotels, businesses and tour operator catering specifically to surfers. A tightly knit fraternity, word of Bali’s rapidly declining surrounding seas, if left unaddressed by the government. threaten to destroy Bali’s reputation with the surfing set.