Every year, over a million seabirds, die, about 100,000 marine mammals and turtles perish while countless fishes are lost to plastic waste. It is estimated that by 2050, 99% of seabirds would have already ingested plastic according to the Oman Environmental Services Holding Company or "Be'ah."
"The idea behind the anthropomorphic fish came about as an embodiment of the most important marine element that people feed on whether in Oman and abroad and while they are of great importance to humans, they suffer from environmental pollution caused by accumulated waste in the oceans and seas," said Anwer al Kanbashi, Social Outreach and Community Engagement Officer at Be’ah company.
"This model was made using approximately 1,000 automotive oil cans, 170 pieces of spent plastic tubes, 850kg of scrap metal, and the fishing nets collected from the Omani beaches. All these materials were used with respect and to adhere to the principle of recycling," shared Abdul Karim al Rawahi, one of the artists who worked on the model.
The anthropomorphic fish, he added, reflects the idea of the suffering of the marine environment. It is, also, an indirect message that the deaths of marine animals are due to the wrong behaviours of human beings.
He said, "It is considered as a rarity in the artistic field formed entirely from scrap and recycled materials. The most difficult challenge we faced to complete the work is the enormity of the work and the selection of materials with high accuracy, as the dimensions of the work are height: 370cm, Width: 700cm and Depth: 230cm."
The artists Youssef and Abdul Karim al Rawahi, as Anwer shared, worked for six consecutive months in cooperation with Be’ah Company (the main supporter of the project) by drawing the prototype, agreeing on the materials used, and then assembling it and turning it into a completed masterpiece through the development of the initial model of the fish.
"The initial model of the fish was placed in the Wilayat of Sur with the launch of the first edition of the "Oman Deserve" campaign in 2019. The current version of the model is placed in Muscat in conjunction with the Omani Environment Day, January 8, to deliver the message to the largest number of people, and it will be moved to several different locations in the Sultanate in the coming months to deliver the message to different groups," Anwer pointed out.
The "Oman Deserves" campaign aimed to reinforce the importance of stopping the random throwing of waste In tourist places through direct and indirect awareness. In addition to the fish model, a set of grilling equipment was placed that was made by reusing damaged materials in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate in Jabal Al Akhdar.
"The aim of this equipment is to motivate tourists to use it and avoid wrong grilling and throwing barbecue waste in tourist areas, in addition, to help creative Omani youth to devise practical solutions from the surrounding environment that contribute to preserving Oman's environment for future generations," Anwer Al Kanbashi said.