“It’s a photo that I wish didn’t exist but now that it does I want everyone to see it.” That is how the Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalist behind this photo describes his image, which illustrates the threat facing our seas.
Taken while snorkeling off the coast of Indonesian island Sumbawa last year, Nature Photographer Justin Hofman managed to catch the intricate moment a tiny seahorse clung to a cosmetic swab. It’s a stark reminder of the crisis facing much of our wildlife. “If you look at the picture, there are actually some white blobs in the background,” Hofman said. “And those white blobs are actually plastic bags.”
Speaking to The Verge, he summarized his thoughts on the photo:
I wish that this scene didn’t happen every day, that’s the thing. I spend a lot of time underwater all over the world, and I see trash and debris and human waste all over the place.
Having given tours in the wild for years, Hofman cites being part of the competition as a way to bring a much larger audience into the conversation he says he’s been having for years. The plastic that now pollutes our seas is dangerous for sealife; many fish die from ingesting too much plastic, or by becoming entangled in trash. This Washington Post article claims that by 2050, there will be a greater mass of plastic than fish in the ocean.
Winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest will be announced on October 17, and the exhibition starts October 20 in London at the Natural History Museum. You can see more of Hofman's work on his Instagram.
For more information about what you can do to help our world's oceans, visit SeaLegacy.
Photo used with permission.
[via The Verge]