Call for Entries: UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition 2023

Last Updated on April 13, 2023

UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition 2023

Entries are invited for the United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Competition 2023. 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 six thematic categories open for submissions:

  • No Time to Waste: Both human and naturally inflicted stressors on the ocean are driving the urgent need for stakeholder action. From out of control algal blooms to red tides and discarded fishing gear, images of damage inflicted on the ocean or how ocean stressors are being mitigated/solved. Submissions for this category require a set of three images.
  • Putting the Ocean First: Exploration, discoveries, and initiatives prioritizing the health of the ocean for now and for the future, including innovation and sustainable solutions.
  • The Wonderful World of Tides: Images that explore the wonderful worlds of tides, and how nature adapts to changing environments, evident in tides and their daily (as well as sometimes multi-daily) rise and fall. Tides are a thin line between land and ocean that provide images topside or underwater, macro or wide angle.
  • Ocean Is Life: From seagrass creating oxygen to sustainable fisheries providing food. This category captures the known, the unknown, and the overlooked. Any image depicting the connection of the ocean to sustaining all life on Earth. Oceans as a lifeline.
  • 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 we 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.


  • Winning images will be recognized at the United Nations on June 8 during the United Nations’ event marking World Oceans Day 2023.
  • Recognition and diffusion of the winning images and finalists will be widely exposed throughout the contest websites, the media and the informational materials related to subsequent competitions.
  • Winning photos have been printed for exhibitions around the world.


  • Open to entrants of all skill levels.
  • Photo contest staff and judges are not allowed to enter the contest.
  • 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)
  • Images that have won or placed in photo contests with winning entries announced before March 1st, 2023 may not be submitted.
  • Entrants will be obliged to agree to the charter of ethics.

Photo Submission Guidelines

  • Entries must be saved in JPEG format and should be sized to be between 2,000 and 6,000 pixels in the longest dimension. Limit your images to a maximum file size of 4,900KB (4.9MB). Images will be viewed on a large monitor and should be in the AdobeRGB 1998 or sRGB color space.
  • Do not include any watermark or borders on your images. These elements will detract from the image’s impact. It’s not that they don’t want you to protect your images; it’s just hard to appreciate an image with a watermark over it. (They will keep the display of winning images consistent, and when your image is displayed, it will be clearly labeled as your image.)
  • The same image can only be entered into one category.


All entries must be submitted by April 23, 2023 at 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Click here to submit entries

For more information, visit World Oceans Day Photo Competition.

Deadline: April 23, 2023

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