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Announcing the Winners of the 11th United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Contest
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, June 7, 2024 @ 12:00 PM (EST)

The winners of the 11th Annual Photo Competition for UN World Oceans Day were announced on June 7th, 2024, during the UN World Oceans Day (UNWOD) 2024 event at the UN Headquarters in New York. The free competition, which launched this past March, explored the five thematic categories linked to the overarching 2024 theme: “Awaken New Depths.” World-renowned judges underwater photographer Tom St George (UK), cave instructor and explorer Julia Gugelmeier (Germany), photographer and dive center operator Mohamed Rifshan Shaheem (Maldives), and underwater photographer Mayumi Takeuchi-Ebbins (Japan) selected first, second, and third place winners for the categories. Winners were selected from thousands of global entries made by both amateur and professional photographers.

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, 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 Nausicaá.

The 2024 winning photographers hail from nine different countries: Renee Capozzola, Patrick Webster, Sina Ritter (“Awaken New Depths”), Andrea Marandino, Stuart Chape (“Small Island Developing States”), Mathieu Macias, George Kuowei Kao, Irene Middleton (“Big and Small Underwater Faces”), Taryn Schulz, Daniel Sly, Vanessa Mignon (“Underwater Seascapes”), Michael Sswat, Emmett Sparling, Romeo Bodolai (“Above Water Seascapes”). All participants signed a charter of 14 commitments regarding ethics in photography.

The United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Competition is an ongoing tradition that calls on photographers and artists from around the world to communicate the beauty of the ocean and the importance of the respective UNWOD themes each year. Winning photos from past years can additionally be seen at www.unworldoceansday.org and on DPG’s World Oceans Day Photo Competition mini-site. (On DPG’s mini-site, you can find extended captions for this year’s winners, which tell the stories behind the images.)


Awaken New Depths

Awaken New Depths – Winner by Renee Capozzola (USA)

Awaken New Depths – 2nd Place by Patrick Webster (USA)

Awaken New Depths – 3rd Place by Sina Ritter (Germany)


Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States — Winner by Andrea Marandino (Brazil)

Small Island Developing States — 2nd Place by Andrea Marandino (Brazil)

Small Island Developing States — 3rd Place by Stuart Chape (Australia)


Big and Small Underwater Faces

Big and Small Underwater Faces — Winner by Mathieu Macias (France)

Big and Small Underwater Faces — 2nd Place by George Kuowei Kao

Big and Small Underwater Faces — 3rd Place by Irene Middleton (New Zealand)


Underwater Seascapes

Underwater Seascapes – Winner by Taryn Schulz (Canada)

Underwater Seascapes— 2nd Place by Daniel Sly (Australia)

Underwater Seascapes — 3rd Place by Vanessa Mignon (Australia)


Above Water Seascapes

Above Water Seascapes – Winner by Michael Sswat (Germany)

Above Water Seascapes — 2nd Place by Emmett Sparling (Canada)

Above Water Seascapes — 3rd Place by Romeo Bodolai (Hungary)



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