2024 Edition

Bambang Wirawan

Guardian of the Ocean

Alor Sea Tribe, Indonesia, 2023

Category - Change Makers: Reasons for Hope

Guardian of the Ocean

One of the oldest tribes in the community of Alor in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, draws its history from the sea. A fishing people, they perpetuate their ancestral traditions throughout the island: with simple equipment – nets, bamboo creels and harpoons – they catch fish according to food needs and sell the rest in the market. As their waters have been degraded by fishing techniques that damage the reefs and deplete resources, as well as by the effects of climate change, the members of this tribe have set themselves up as protectors of the ocean. In addition to their ecosystem-friendly fishing practices, they look after the corals and replant various marine plants. With just one breath, they can dive for more than five minutes! It is the wisdom and commitment of this “sea tribe” that I wanted to illustrate in this photograph.

10-24 mm f/4 Lens - 1/320 sec at f/4 ISO 320