Underwater Photographer of the Year levels of competition: Fishing graphic wins conservation prize


An aerial photograph of two boats, with nets cast broad fishing for anchovies in the waters of Vietnam, has won the Conserve Our Seas Basis Maritime Conservation group of the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2022 award.

It’s a stunning picture – the contrasting hues of the h2o, the around symmetry of the boats, the embryonic condition of the nets – but it also serves as “a stark visible reminder of man’s attain and manage over the surrounding habitat and its devastating influence on the normal equilibrium,” according to the award’s choose, Peter Rowlands.

It was taken by 34-calendar year-old Vietnamese engineer Thien Nguyen Ngoc, who describes images as a pastime and stated it was “an honor to be picked as the winner.” Ngoc says he had visited the waters of Phu Yen province, where he took the photograph, a lot of periods ahead of but on this celebration, he saw many vessels gathered to catch the anchovies.

Salted anchovy is an important component in standard Vietnamese fish sauce, but it is also a dietary staple for whales, tuna, sea birds and other maritime animals that confront population decline when there is overfishing, according to the photographer.

Ngoc suggests he observed an opportunity to use pictures to distribute the concept that although anchovies are pretty smaller fish, they “play a very important purpose in the meals chain of the ocean,” adding that overfishing is a challenge about the environment.

“Photography is a really strong resource for me and photographers like me to supply a conservation concept to the planet simply because the language of photography is common,” Ngoc explained. “It does not matter what part of the entire world you occur from, what language you talk. Photography can expose conservation troubles in a compelling and quick way to fully grasp.”

Matty Smith won the British Underwater Photographer of the Year category for this photograph of a great white shark, taken at the North Neptune Islands in Australia.

The Conserve Our Seas Basis is a non-profit focused to defending ocean life, especially sharks and rays. Jade Schultz from the Foundation wrote in an e mail that Ngoc’s graphic was “an really putting and partaking photo.”

“Overfishing is the biggest danger to our oceans, but it is also a incredibly advanced one. Quite a few generations of fishers have supported their people off our oceans, with around three billion men and women in coastal communities relying on seafood as their key source of protein,” she added. “We have to have to guarantee that these methods are managed sustainably to safeguard maritime daily life and whole ecosystems and the livelihoods of all those who rely on our oceans.”

The conservation award is just a single of the groups in the Underwater Photographer of the Year opposition. The over-all prize was received by Rafael Fernandez Caballero for his image titled “Giants of the evening,” which shows whale sharks feeding with each other at night time in the Maldives. “Magic comes about in the ocean each and every day, but if we really don’t protect the oceans and sharks, these times will soon be a detail of the previous,” he reported in a statement.

Schultz wrote that “In terms of maritime conservation … pictures is an vital instrument in that images have the ability to translate information, stir emotion and have an affect on meaningful change in the viewer in a way that no presentation of facts can.

“Beyond shining a spotlight on the multiple anthropogenic threats our oceans experience, from overfishing to disappearing critical habitats, we hope that the pictures are in a position to teach and spur good motion.”