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Irish photographer takes top honours in competition with rare image of courting sharks off the West Coast of Ireland



The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) are once again pleased to announce results of The British and Irish Underwater Photography Championship (BIUPC) which was held on 4th September 2021.  

For Underwater Photographers, a “splash-in” is a competition that takes place on a single nominated day, when photographers jump into the water to compete against each other. Traditionally, these competitions have been restricted to particular locations, but BIUPC is unique in that it has developed a format to allow pictures to be taken anywhere within the coastal or inland waterways of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. This has hugely increased the richness and variety of pictures submitted for judging, and so truly allows for a snapshot of the underwater environment captured photographically around these shores under time pressure.

Nick Watson is the Chair of BSoUP and organiser of BIUPC each year, and has made this appeal to all Branch members for BIUPC 2022 and all future years: ‘The spirit of this competition is unique, and one where we as a diving and photographic community can capture the heart and spirit of our waters over 24 hours.  You don’t have to be the most experienced photographer or have the best equipment to get noticed (photography in general lends itself to being in the right place and at the right time).  So, I’d like to encourage as many Branch members in 2022 to take part in BIUPC, thus growing this body of history.  From my experience Branch members will be diving in areas where many unique images can be taken’.   

There are three main categories for competitors: 

  • Wide Angle (open)
  • Close Up (open) 
  • Compact Camera (restricted)

Each of these categories will have one winner, and one overall Champion is chosen from these 3 images.  The ultimate prize is the coveted Peter Scoones memorial Trophy.

There is also a category for:

  • Man’s Impact on UK and Irish Marine and freshwater Environments (but this isn’t included for the Overall Champion)
  • ‘Newcomers’ – those who haven’t been taking pictures underwater for more than three 3 years, and are eligible to become Overall Champion (it’s the quality of the image that counts not the equipment or experience)

76 images were submitted in total, with 34 entrants, 3 in the restricted category. Results were announced online at the BSoUP monthly meeting held on 21st September 2021. The judges were Atanas Petrov and John Collins. Results for BIUPC 2021 were as follows:

For more information about BSoUP visit the website by clicking here.

  • Fireworks Anemone and crab: Wide Angle Highly Commended by Yo-Han Cha

  • Gooseberry Galaxy: Wide Angle Highly Commended by Billy Arthur

  • River bed in dynamic flow: Wide Angle Runner Up by Damien McGuirk

  • Courting basking sharks: Wide Angle Winner by Martin Kiely

  • Sturgeons at Capernwray: Compact Camera Highly Commended by Karen Ho

  • Glen Strathallan wreck: Compact Camera Highly Commended by David John-Peake

  • Diver exploring the Podsnap: Compact Camera Runner Up by Karen Ho:

  • Long clawed squat lobster: Compact Camera Winner by Grant McCarry

  • Moonlight Gem: Close Up Highly Commended by Sandra Stalker

  • Anemone-covered ladder: Man’s Impact Highly Commended by Kirsty Andrews

  • Koi: Man’s Impact Highly Commended by Karen Ho

  • A long-clawed squat lobster poking its head out of an old discarded crisp packet: Man’s Impact Runner up by Trevor Rees

  • Bridge over troubled water: Man’s Impact Winner Paul Colley

  • Burrowing Anemone: Close Up Highly Commended by James Lynott

  • Yarrell’s blenny: Close Up Runner Up by Trevor Rees

  • Long Clawed Porcelain Crab: Close Up Winner by Cathy Lewis

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit



Win copies of Action Camera Underwater Video Basics, a Paralenz Vaquita and more!



Dived Up Publications, Paralenz and Scubaverse have come together to celebrate the October 2021 release of Scubaverse Editor-at-Large Jeff Goodman’s Action Camera Underwater Video Basics: The Essential Guide to Making Underwater Films.

Share better underwater videos with Jeff’s book and Paralenz Vaquita.

Win a copy of Jeff’s new book, as well as a selection of other great prizes including a Paralenz Vaquita camera, rash guard and water bottles, in the free to enter prize draw.

1st Prize

  • 1x Paralenz Vaquita (RRP £659)
  • 1x Action Camera Underwater Video Basics (RRP £20)

2nd Prize

  • 1 x Paralenz rash guard (RRP £59)
  • 1x Action Camera Underwater Video Basics

3rd Prize (5 available)

  • 1x Action Camera Underwater Video Basics
  • 1x Paralenz water bottle (RRP £8)

4th Prize (3 available)

  • 1x Action Camera Underwater Video Basics

Enter now for free at

No purchase necessary. Internet access and email address required. Winners will be chosen at random. No cash or alternative prizes offered. Open to over-18s only. Other exclusions apply. Closing date 23 November 2021. Draw will be made within 7 days of closing. Winners will be notified by email. See website to enter, for full prize details and terms and conditions.

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Fiji’s borders to reopen on December 1st 2021



The island paradise of Fiji will be open to visitors once again starting this December. After nearly two years of being closed to the outside world, Fiji is ready to safely welcome its travelers back. The 333 islands are as beautiful as ever, brimming with idyllic turquoise waters, soft white sand beaches, and the vibrant “Bula Spirit” for which Fiji is known.

“It’s been almost two years since we welcomed international visitors. And in these two years, we’ve struggled, we’ve adapted, and we’ve prepared,” said Hon. Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Tourism.

“Today, our national airline is ready, our hotels and tour providers are ready, and Fijians are ready to safely welcome the world back. We are ready to let happiness find you again.”

Fiji will still have entry requirements in place to ensure the utmost safety of both visitors and locals. These include being a fully vaccinated traveler from a “Travel Partner” country such as Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, Germany, Spain, France, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and most Pacific Island Countries and Territories.

Travelers from these countries will need to provide a negative PCR test taken less than 3 days prior to departure from home country and fulfil any obligation to take an additional test prior to returning back home, based on individual home country requirements. Unvaccinated children under the age of 18 will be able to travel to Fiji accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Travel insurance is, as always, highly recommended. For more information on country-specific travel requirements, please visit

“We are ecstatic that Fiji will open its borders to international visitors before the end of the year,” says Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill.

“This is the moment we have been planning for nearly two years now and I can assure the world that Fiji is safe and ready to welcome you back. The islands are just as beautiful – if not more beautiful – than ever and the locals just as warm and friendly. Fiji is the vacation the world needs and deserves right now, and we can finally offer that again starting December.”

Tourism Fiji have been preparing for this moment. Travellers can book and travel in confidence with the Care Fiji Commitment, where they can stay in certified resorts, use certified transportation and experiences, and be assured that all tourism businesses they come in to contact with have a 100% vaccinated staff. Tourism Fiji started working on this programme when the pandemic first arrived in Fiji. Now they have over 206 CFC approved businesses, and over 320 nominated Wellness Ambassadors across Fiji.

Travellers can reserve their flights now at Check out diving and resort packages at Fiji’s leading Volivoli Beach Resort

Find out more about visiting Fiji at

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Our special, extended, 14 night charter of MV Carpe Diem in the Maldives will visit some of our favourite sites in the central and near-south atolls. We will be spending 14 nights on-board, specifically because we want to travel and have time to enjoy the sites without rushing too much.

The boat will depart from Male on Saturday 23rd October and guests will disembark on Saturday 06th November. The route will incorporate our favourite manta points, shark diving points and spectacular coral reefs.


Please contact us for last minute prices on 01473921888 or email us at



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