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Finalists Announced

Ocean In Focus Fifth Annual Conservation Photography Contest

SeaWeb and Lindblad Expeditions would like to extend our gratitude to all those who competed, tweeted, and helped spread the word about the 5th Ocean in Focus conservation photo contest. Images contributed from around the world tell stories of peril, passion and perseverance. Now we invite the photographers of the top rated photos to dive deeper and share the stories behind the images they have captured to bring us all behind the lens and, in some cases, under the surface of the sea. The following six finalists will now compete in the grand prize photo essay competition, which will determine the lucky winner of a trip for two aboard the National Geographic Endeavour for a 10-day expedition to the Galápagos Islands courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions.

Click the image below to view the prize-winning images:

This contest calls on photographers of all skill levels to compete and donate photos illustrating the many human impacts on marine life and marine ecosystems as well as ways in which people are working to turn the tide on ocean degradation.

Read the Press Release >>

Congratulations to the Finalists:

  • Matthew Potenski, an experienced shark biologist, captured the image of a baitfish shoal in the Bahamas, ready to retreat to the protection of the mangroves at the first sign of a predator. The photograph of a healthy coastal ecosystem contrasts with Potenski’s 2009 grand prize winning photo that displays a mangrove sapling in the foreground with a contruction site threatening its habitat in the background. While we are thrilled to have an uplifting image lead the group of finalists, the Ocean in Focus contest continues to uncover the unsavory truths facing the ocean.

  • As bycatch continues to be one of the leading problems in species conservation, Andy Murch’s photo of a bat ray hanging in a gill net displays this ongoing issue in dramatic fashion. The net was intended for halibut but entangled a number of different species along the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It is estimated that 27 million metric tons of bycatch are discarded annually [WWF].

  • The photo contest continues to influence diverse geographies, such as South East Asia, where Alex Hofford from Hong Kong captured a photo of the tuna industry. Skipjack tuna, featured in his image, accounts for 58% of the tuna caught on the principal market. The photograph, taken in the Philippines, captures the sheer quantity of tuna and other popular food fishes that humans extract from the ocean [FAO].

  • The iconic, unique pelagic sunfish, also know as the Mola mola, commonly get tangled and die in tuna nets in the Mediterranean Sea. Viora Alessio’s photo, taken off the coast of Italy, shows one of the oldest tuna fishing methods resulting in the unintended catch and death of non-target species; in this case the sunfish. While the Mediterranean Sea brings in 10% of the world’s tuna catch, many non-target species get caught and die in the process, as highlighted by Alessio’s shot [FAO].

  • The Gulf of Mexico and its diverse ecosystems and coastal communities continues to feel the impacts of the 2010 oil spill disaster. Ron Wooten’s photo shows an Atlantic Striped Dolphin and other members of a pod of more than 100 animals diving into and emerging from long lines of oil ‘mousse’. The full impacts of the spill on the ecosytem and animals, like the dophins in Wooten’s photo, are still being studied.

  • Climate change, and the increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters, brings real consequences to the human populations living in coastal communities. Mohammad Rakibul Hasan captures the desperation in his photograph featuring a young girl who is digging deep into soil saturated with salt water, hoping to find logs to burn as fuel. Two years after Cyclone Aila, the communities along Bangladesh’s southwest coastline are starting to rebuild their lives.

All photos contributed to the Marine Photobank are available for download for non-commercial use by our membership of teachers, students, researchers, conservationists, scientists and others as well as print and Web journalists under specified.

Watch Terry Goss, previous grand prize winner, explore the Galapagos Islands>>

Lindblad Expeditions Daily Expedition Report

Thank You to Our Prize Donors!

We would like to say a heart felt THANK YOU to our generous prize donors for their in-kind donations to this effort. Each of them recognizes the power of visual communication to affect change around the way we interact with the ocean and we ask that you visit their websites and learn more about these great prize donors. This contest would not be possible without their support.

Lindblad Expeditions has graciously donated an expedition for two persons in one Category 1 cabin aboard the National Geographic Endeavour for a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands!    More Details >>

TERMS AND RESTRICTIONS: One category 1 cabin for two for a departure by November 1, 2013. Final departure date based upon availability by Lindblad Expeditions and subject to holiday and blackout periods. Confirmation is given 45 days prior to sailing. Donation does not include air transportation; baggage, accident, or cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, gift shop, etc.; passport expenses; extension; gratuities to ship's crew at traveler's discretion.

Finalists win:
a copy of Callum Roberts’ critically acclaimed book, The Ocean of Life. The Photographer of the image voted best overall will also win a Solio Classic Solar Hybrid Charger, donated by Q-Cells.

All participants who submit images deemed appropriate and relevant to the mission and purpose of this contest will receive a $125 photo credit to be redeemed on any Lindblad Expeditions adventure.

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Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions

Callum Roberts' The Ocean of Life
Callum Roberts' The Ocean of Life

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