Let the enormity of the situation really ~sink~ in.
Conservationist Spencer Arnold, is trying to raise awareness of a fragile ecosystem on a tiny Thai island.
He sunk a series of underwater sculptures, called “Despair”, near Ko Tao in Thailand.
Ko Tao is a 12-km-square island and attracts over 400,000 tourists a year, which has a negative impact on the surrounding environment.
The location of the sculptures is in an area of the bay that had been devastated earlier in the year by a sunken fishing boat. The accident destroyed over 590 square metres of the reef.
Arnold said, “These reef sculptures are a small part of the work we do here on Ko Tao.”
“But they’re my passion and complement our efforts to maintain the reef ecosystem on this heavily visited tourist destination.”
He also said, “The image of drowning faces gasping for air… is a haunting one for me.”
“For me, it is a powerful image that describes my own relationship with despair, having spent the better part of my life fascinated by our planet and petrified by the rate at which it has been changed in my own short lifetime.”
And they are now part of a restoration project Arnold’s team, New Heaven Reef Conservation Program, has been working on for over 7 years.
Parts of the sculptures came from emptied shells of Giant Clams (Tridacna) that were found discarded around the island.
Arnold hopes that the sculptures will raise awareness for the plight of Ko Tao.
“It’s my hope that these sculptures that I’ve created will bring some much needed awareness to these issues and encourage people to educate themselves, joining us in our work trying to restore these highly threatened reef ecosystems.”