A supposed floating breakwater (or something that no one is even sure what it exactly is) made from concrete at Candidasa was smashed by waves on Thursday (23/03), which has caused Styrofoam contained within the 3m x 8m concrete block to break up into little pieces and litter the sea and beach.
This has drawn complaints from tourism operators in the area as the Styrofoam pieces have made the beach a complete mess. Wayan Karisa, the secretary for Karangasem’s Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), confirmed that he had received reports from hotel owners along the Candidasa road.
“Many of their guests have complained,” Karisa said. “There were those who planned to stay for two weeks but after seeing the messed up beach area, checked out only after one day.”
Kariasa stated that the floating concrete, around 100 meters from the beach and near Hotel Asyana, was part of a project by the central government and executed by the local beach management (Balai Pantai), but up to now they’re not even clear about its function. “If they plan to continue the project, then they should figure out what to do with it in the meantime. This is a big problem for Candidasa tourism.”
Not just affecting the environment, but the floating concrete has also destroyed the coral reefs underneath it. When the tide recedes, the floating concrete descends near the bottom of the ocean and consequently crushes the coral reefs.
The problem has been responded to by Karangasem’s House of Representatives (DPRD) members. After also receiving complaints from people, they visited the beach to find out the effect of the floating concrete. Meanwhile, the Head of Karangasem Tourism Agency, Ketut Mertadina said that he was already aware of the problem since the news became viral on social media. He met with the head of the regional Public Works Agency to discuss the matter and said that Karangasem’s Balai Pantai will be in charge of cleaning the beach.
For the time being, local residents, tourism facility owners, and foreign tourists who reside in Candidasa, had collaborated to do their own beach cleanup.