Marine Photography Competition

FROM Jul 14 TO Sep 30

In 1981 UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. While many can enjoy the wildlife in the Dublin Bay area only a few have experienced the life underwater. The Dublin Bay UNESCO Biosphere partnership and the Irish Underwater Council want to raise awareness of our marine life and are calling for underwater photographers to share their Dublin Bay and Irish Sea underwater/spilt shot images through entering a new photography competition. We will be displaying an exhibition of the best images around the Dublin Bay area so would love as many photographers as possible to enter in order to share our underwater world with the public. The ethos of the exhibition is to display the wide variety of marine life, so all levels of photography experience are encouraged to enter. The closing date for entries is the 30th of September 2021 and winners will be announced in October 2021.



There are 7 categories. The Dublin Bay UNESCO Biosphere Partnership has sponsored €250 for 1st place, €150 for second place and €100 for third place for the winning images in each category. Additionally, Diving Ireland will provide an item of branded clothing to the winner in each category. Winning images may be displayed on placards in prominent seafront locations. Categories are:

  • Cat 1: Best photograph of a crustacean/echinoderm (e.g. crab, lobster, prawn, shrimp, starfish, brittle star, sea urchin, sea cucumber)
  • Cat 2: Best photograph of a sponge/cnidarian/sea squirt (e.g. anemone, coral, hydroid, jellyfish)
  • Cat 3: Best photograph of a worm/mollusc (e.g. sea snail, sea slug, cuttlefish, octopus, squid)
  • Cat 4: Best photograph of a fish or mammal
  • Cat 5: Best photograph taken of or on a shipwreck (Limited to the Dublin Bay Biosphere Lambay-Dalkey Island)
  • Cat 6: Best photograph of “Spotted in Dublin Bay” (Photographers favourites – People, nature, leisure activities, capturing/celebrating the biosphere etc.)
  • Cat 7: Best compact camera or action camera image (see rules for qualifying cameras)

How to enter:

Email images to

Images must be renamed with:

  • a Title,
  • Category and your name.
  • Address,
  • location of shot,
  • marine subject,
  • date and camera model must be included in email
  • Images must be saved as JPEG of 1-3mb

Do not include your copyright name in the image (this ensures anonymous judging)


Competition Rules:

  • The competition is open to all underwater photographers
  • Closing date 30th September 2021
  • Photographs must be taken underwater along the Irish coast in the Irish Sea (Category 5 and 6 must be taken within the Biosphere, between Lambay & Dalkey islands) Photographs do not need to be recent.
  • Up to 5 photographs per person can be entered
  • Entrants agree that their photographs can be used as part of an exhibition around Dublin Bay, displayed on placards in prominent seafront areas and/or on social media. Material may also be used in Biosphere promotional/reporting material
  • Basic image editing is allowed (e.g. cropping, global adjustments to saturation, exposure, white balance etc.), but nothing should be added to the image
  • All entrants to respect the marine environment when taking pictures
  • Any entrant failing to follow the rules will be disqualified
  • Organisers reserve the right to alter rules if it benefits fair running of competition
  • Compact camera definition: small-sensor cameras excluding those with lenses interchangeable with the body of the camera (housing mounted wet lenses allowed). Action cameras, for example GoPro range, also included. Cameras falling outside of the category include Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR), compact cameras with lenses interchangeable with the body of the camera, medium & large format sensor compact cameras (FX, DX, APS-C, micro 4/3rds, 1 inch sensor). e.g. Nikon D7100, Olympus OMD E-M1, Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 series and compact cameras with full frame sensor e.g. Sony Cyber-Shot RX1.


Dublin Bay Biosphere would like to display a wide variety of Dublin Bay underwater species in the exhibition so if you would like to share images outside of those entered in the competition we would welcome these. Images can be sent to: please note in your email that these images are for the exhibition rather than the competition.