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Seaweed Farming in Nusa Lembongan

Zachary Moxley


Behind the Shot

Just off the southeast coast of Bali, Indonesia, are three small islands. The most populated, Nusa Lembongan, is connected to the smallest, Nusa Ceningan, by a narrow yellow suspension bridge. In the western waters of the estuarine channel between the two, seaweed farms began to appear in the 1980s, when aquaculture was introduced to the region. Essentially square patches of seabed marked by bamboo pegs driven into the soft shallow sand, the farms are defined by lines of string, tied from peg to peg, creating a gridwork onto which farmers attach small cuttings of seaweed, similar to how a gardener would plant cuttings in a garden. After a few weeks, the cuttings bloom and the seaweed is harvested. While the industry is giving way to tourism as a main economic source, there are still many active farms to see in the channel.

“My first overseas trip was to Bali,” Zachary shared. “I was fascinated by what was going on just off the shore. The boats docked in the shallow water, only about 5 or 6 feet deep. The water was so incredibly clear, and the sandy ocean floor so flat, it was like glass. I sent my drone up above the scene and captured this image. It looks like it could have been shot in a swimming pool or bathtub. The boats looked like toys.”

Note: This artist’s photo editing style may result in some mild graininess in all print sizes.