Hundreds of thousands of marine animals — fish, reptiles, birds and mammals — die every year after ingesting or being entangled in garbage carried by ocean currents.
Portuguese artist Paulo de Oliveira’s shocking composite images of animals being strangled by discarded nets and gorging on plastic rubbish serve as a stark warning of the damage caused by human waste.
In his series, a baby seal lion swims with a fishing net around its neck, a turtle munches on a coffee cup, a whale shark consumes plastic bags and a fish eats the remnants of a plastic lid while swimming through a sea of garbage.
De Oliveira, a 64-year-old former advertising executive turned professional diver and photographer, said: “I created these composite images to illustrate the amount of plastic garbage polluting our oceans. I wanted to make people understand the enormity of this environmental attack and how it affects the entire marine food chain. It is a theme that needs strong images that one often cannot capture directly in nature with the necessary quality.
“Nothing that can be seen in these images is unrealistic fantasies, though. All this happens every day in some parts of the oceans. It has already been witnessed by me and by many people but, except for honorable exceptions, it has not been directly portrayed in nature with force that I have tried to present in these compositions. In general, people respond well to images even when they know they have not been captured directly in nature. As I worked in advertising, I see this technique as just another tool that allows me to express my creativity.” (Caters News)