Photo Competition for UN World Oceans Day

Deadline Date: April 07, 2024

Donor Name: United Nations World Oceans Day

 Grant Size: Not Available

The annual Photo Competition for UN World Oceans Day hosted by the United Nations, curated by Ellen Cuylaerts and a jury composed of world-renowned individuals is now open for applications.

The 2024 Photo Competition for UN World Oceans Day is coordinated in collaboration between the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, DivePhotoGuide (DPG), Oceanic Global, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and Nausicaa.

World Oceans Day encourages you to make a difference in your life, in your community, and in the world by taking action to protect the ocean—for present and future generations. Despite the huge challenges facing the world’s oceans such as plastic pollution, overfishing and climate change, by working together they can achieve a healthier ocean that will provide for the billions of humans, plants and animals which depend on it every day.

Photography is a powerful medium to convey a feeling or a message. This open and free photo competition seeks to inspire the creation of imagery capturing the beauty, the challenges and the importance of the ocean and humankind’s relation to it, hoping to contribute to actions to preserve this vital resource.


  • The photo competition has five thematic categories open for submissions:
    • Awaken New Depths
      • Images that appeal to new depths of compassion, understanding, collaboration, and commitment for the ocean and the issues it faces. Photos that influence their perspectives and make them fundamentally reconsider not only their relationship to the ocean but also their methods and mediums of honoring, nurturing, and protecting it
    • Small Island Developing States
      • Images showcasing the beauty of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and demonstrating the intimate connection of SIDS and their people to the ocean. Entries in this category may have the chance to have their images displayed at the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States, to be held in Antigua and Barbuda from May 27th–30th, 2024
    • Big and Small Underwater Faces
      • Portraits of marine life underwater that feature faces big and/or small to help personalize the world beneath the waves
    • Underwater Seascapes
      • Awe-inspiring underwater seascapes of the ocean’s splendors, from life in the ocean to ecosystems and exchanges they don’t typically see, anything that inspires beauty, promise, or potential. A minimum of 50% should be taken underwater, also allowing half-above water and half-below water shots
    • Above Water Seascapes
      • Landscapes depicting an environment dependent on the ocean, taken above water

Eligibility Criteria

  • The contest is open to entrants of all skill levels.
  • Photo contest staff and judges are not allowed to enter the contest.
  • Winners will be announced during the hybrid UN World Oceans Day event – this year celebrated on June 7th in New York – hosted by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, in partnership with Oceanic Global, and published on and DPG shortly afterwards.
  • Entries may have been taken from any camera, digital or film (as scanned slides).
  • Conservation rules will be strictly observed. Flora and fauna should never be stressed or endangered for the sake of a photo.


  • Entries suspected of involving the following behavior will be disqualified:
    • Photographers visibly damaging the environment (e.g., gear dragging or kicking up sand, divers exhibiting poor buoyancy control)
    • Animals with signs of stress (e.g., puffed puffers, inking octopus)
    • Animals moved to an unnatural environment or risky location
    • Marine life being touched or placed (e.g., nudibranchs, coral polyps, seahorse tails)

For more information, visit United Nations World Oceans Day.

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