It will soon be time to start posting your prize-winning shark images, as the Shark Trust and DIVER search for the best of the best - and someone must win two free tickets to the Maldives!
Taken any good shark photos lately? The Shark Trust has spent the past 10 years working on shark conservation, and to mark this achievement it has teamed up with DIVER to host Sharks In Focus, a photo competition devised to celebrate the beauty, and highlight the vulnerability of sharks, skates, rays and chimaera. The contest is open to every underwater photographer, and covers all types of shark encounter. From 1 July to 31 August you'll be able to submit up to two images online. Suitable entries will be displayed in an online gallery, and whittled down by public vote. The finalists' work will be displayed at Dive 2007 at the NEC in October, where an expert jury will choose the best shot in each of four categories - Perfect Calm, Stormy Seas, Challenging Times, and Quirky Encounters - and the overall winner. Prizes will be awarded at a Sharks In Focus fund-raising gala evening to celebrate the Shark Trust's 10th anniversary. Finally, the winners' work will be immortalised in the 2008 DIVER Calendar! You'll find full details of how to enter on the Shark Trust website, www.sharktrust.org/photo.
First prize, for the overall winner across four categories, is a week-long diving holiday for two at Vilamendhoo Island Resort in the Maldives, including international flights, transfers, half-board hotel accommodation and a five-day diving package with Euro-Divers. The whole package is worth around ?3000!
Vilamendhoo lies in the southern part of Ari Atoll, 25 minutes' seaplane flight from the capital, Male. It affords excellent opportunities to encounter sharks and rays in the wild at sites such as Super Gorgio Thila - and whale sharks come by every so often too. Boat-dives apart, the shore-diving on the fringing house reef, a few steps from guests' bungalows, is outstanding.
Vilamendhoo's management company Platinum Capital Holdings and Euro-Divers, which recently took over the diving operation, look forward to welcoming the winners, and the holiday itself comes courtesy of specialist dive tour operator Barefoot Traveller.
There will also be great prizes of diving equipment for category winners.