Marine Photobank is a resource for ocean imagery that promotes conservation of marine life. Collecting up some of the most beautiful and telling photos, the organization makes the photos available for free for non-commercial use and for media use. This is an incredible resource for telling the story of our oceans, and nothing makes that more clear than the recent winners of Marine Photobank's photo contest.
For example, the photo above is the Grand Prize winner. It is a blue shark with a rusted hook stuck in its lower jaw. Terry Goss of San Francisco, CA took the shot off Rhode Island and the shark was caught by a longline fishing boat. Goss states, "When I started shooting underwater, it was immediately apparent that every shark image I make carries a triple message: 1) look at this amazing and awesome animal, 2) they are NOT your enemy,and finally, 3) look at what we’ve done to them and their home. These photos will be the LAST RECORD of their long existence if we don’t change our ways."
The image above won First Prize and shows a boat in the Philippines floating in what looks as much like a trash bin as a waterway. Peri Paleracio's photograph shows how polluted our marine ecosystems can easily become. This is not an unusual sight anywhere in the world, unfortunately.
These photos are examples of conservation photography, a genre that is becoming ever more important to the environmental movement for pulling people into action once they can see with their own eyes the terrible consequences of human impacts on ecosystems as well as the potential positive changes we can make to repair the damage.
These are just two of the winning images. Check out more at Marine Photobank's site.