Images captured by Honolulu photographer shed light on marine waste problem

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An Oahu photographer is making headlines for his ocean images.

For close to a decade, Zak Noyle has been around the globe taking breathtaking images of crystal clear water and showcasing the surreal beauty, wonder, and power of the ocean.

“My job has taken me to Japan, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, Peru to name a few,” Noyle said.

But a trip to a remote surf spot in Indonesia last year is now garnering the Honolulu resident international attention for his images capturing a shocking and revolting amount of trash in the ocean.

“I have never seen anything like that before,” Noyle said. “It was kind of scary. We didn’t see it at first when we were in the water. A little bit would come through and then a lot. You never knew what was going to pop up.”

Noyle was immersed in everything from plastic bottles, wrappers, and even soccer balls that cluttered the pristine beauty of the secret surf spot.

“Which is even more sad because you know there’s no people going there or anything like that. There’s very few people. It was just with the currents and the swell, the direction that it was going in. It must have picked up all that debris and pushed it right into this area,” Noyle said.

Rampant with poverty, some Indonesians aren’t afforded the luxuries most have come to depend on.

“They don’t have a trash truck that comes and picks up all their trash. A lot of their trash is burned or put in the rivers. Sad to say they don’t know,” Noyle said.

Recently, the 28-year-old Punahou graduate and photographer for SURFER magazine’s waste images were picked up by Yahoo News and several other blogs and websites.

“That was a really great thing. It was quite amazing the turn out from what it’s done,” Noyle said. “As an artist and photographer, I can only hope that that’s what my images can do is motivate people and inspire people to do more and take care of our ocean.”

Noyle’s chosen to donate use of these images to non-profit organizations seeking to improve the marine environment.

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