The finalists for this year’s Ocean Photography Awards have just been announced, and this year’s high standard of submissions provide a rich and varied look at the ocean, from multicoloured squid and translucent deep-sea creatures to very curious sea lions and split-shots of crocodiles at sunset.
However, as we too well know, human interaction with the ocean isn’t always positive. The dangers of ghost fishing lines and discarded face masks to aquatic species are something all-too-common, while vast trawler nets and melting ice remind us that the health of the world’s oceans are under constant threat.
The Ocean Photography Awards has a simple mission: to shine a light on the beauty of the ocean and the threats it faces. The winners of this year’s Awards will be announced via a series of films between 10 and 16 September 10, and released on the Ocean Photography Awards Instagram page.
Here are our favourites from the 2021 competition.
Speleothems (cave features formed by the deposition of minerals) cast long shadows at Cenote Dos Pisos, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo by Martin Broen
Sticking their neck out
A green turtle on a reef, photographed at Selayar, Indonesia. Photo by Galice Hoarau
Sea lions swarm a diver at Vancouver Island, Canada. Photo by Steve Woods
Close to the edge
An emperor penguin chick stands on the edge of the ice-shelf at Atka Bay, Antarctica, staring at the open water below. Photo by Stefan Christmann
Southern Calamari (Sepioteuthis australis) squid at night in Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia. Photo by Matty Smith
Casting a wide net
Anchovy fishing boats photographed from above along the coastline of Phu Yen province, Vietnam. Photo by Thien Nguyen Ngoc
A sea nettle jellyfish drifts in the shallows of Monterey Bay, California, USA. Photo by Maxwel Hohn
A sea lion hunts mackerel off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Photo by Fabrice Guerin
Out in the cold
Emperor penguins at Snow hill, Antarctica, stand tall against bracing winds. Photo by Nadia Aly
Make it snappy
An American crocodile glides through the water at sunset at Gardens of the Queen, Cuba; a protected marine reserve since 1996. Photo by Tanya Houppermans
An adult male Southern Bobtail Squid night hunting across the sand at Wollongong Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. Photo by Matty Smith
A fever of cownose rays, photography at Coral Bay, Western Australia, displaying what is believed to be mating or courtship behaviour. Photo by Alex Kydd
Thanks for all the fish
A common dolphin photographed in the Port Stephens Marine Park off Broughton Island, Port Stephens, Australia. Photo by Gergo Rugli
Talk to the hand
Playful grey seals pictured at Farne Islands, United Kingdom, a species that has been protected in the UK for decades under the Conservation of Seals Act 1970. Photo by Grant Thomas
Behind the mask
A seahorse clings to a face mask as it swims in the water at Stratoni, Greece. Photo by Nicholas Samaras