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Relative newcomer scoops award for the British & Irish Underwater Photography Championship 2020

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Forty one competitors submitted ninety four images in BSoUP’s annual British & Irish Underwater Photography Championship, a tough on-the-day competition that demands competitors to take, process and submit images taken anywhere in UK and Irish waters in the space of only 24 hours.

Judges Paul Colley from the UK and Diarmuid O’Donnavan from Ireland were impressed with the quality of entires, particularly in the category for Mankind’s Impact on the Environment, which has now started to attract serious interest from competitors.  Entry numbers were up on the previous year, although down on historical norms, possibly due to the impact of the pandemic and ongoing restrictions with social distancing, which has made boat diving in particular more difficult.

BIUPC Champion 2020: Georgie Bull

Some well-known faces continue to show their ability, including three-time champion Trevor Rees who took top spot in both the close-up and environment categories, Mark Kirkland who once again took the runner-up position for the wide-angle category, and a fist full of other photographers who are well known on the UK and Irish circuit.  However, it was relative newcomer Georgie Bull, only narrowly missing to qualify for the newcomer category, who produced a stunning image of sunlit seagrass to take top marks from both judges and scoop the title BIUPC champion 2020.

Close Up 1st: Trevor Rees

Due to a combination of competitors and images failing to meet the strict vetting criteria for this unique on-the-day competition that has electronic image verification procedures to allow submission from anywhere in UK and Ireland, there were a significant number of spoiled entries, particularly in the newcomer category, which accordingly was not awarded this year.  But the full list of winners, runners-up and highly commended images shows quite clearly the impressive results that can be achieved in just one day’s diving.

Compact 1st: Grant McCarry

At the on line awards ceremony hosted by the British Society of Underwater Photographers, Georgie expressed her huge enthusiasm for our underwater world and her delight and surprise at winning.  She was awarded with the Peter Scoones trophy in memory of one of BSoUP’s founding fathers, a BSoUP trophy to keep for life and a certificate embellished with her winning image.

Environment 1st: Trevor Rees

BIUPC 2020 Roll of Honour

Wide-angle winner and BIUPC Champion 2020: Georgie Bull

Close-up winner: Trevor Rees

Restricted Camera winner: Grant McCarry

Mankind’s Impact on the Environment winner: Trevor Rees


Wide-angle runner-up: Mark Kirkland

Wide-angle highly commended: Mike Orth

Wide-angle highly commended: Rick Ayrton


Close-up runner-up: Kirsty Andrews

Close-up highly commended: James Lynott

Close-up highly commended: Jonathan Bunker


Restricted Camera winner: Grant McCarry

Restricted Camera runner-up: Ronan Murray


Mankind’s Impact on the Environment runner-up: Rob Bailey

Mankind’s Impact on the Environment highly commended: Rick Ayrton


For more information about the BUICP visit the BSOUP website by clicking here.

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 www.frogfishphotography.com

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The Rescue – available on Disney+ tomorrow (Watch Trailer)

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If you missed the recent cinema debut of The Rescue film, you can watch it on streaming channel Disney+ from tomorrow December 3rd.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), The Rescue is the edge-of-your-seat account of the rescue of 12 Thai school boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave system in 2018.

The Rescue chronicles the dramatic rescue of the boys and their coach, trapped deep inside a flooded cave. Academy Award®-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin reveal the perilous world of cave diving, the bravery of the rescuers, and the dedication of an entire community that made great sacrifices to save these young boys. An outing to explore a nearby system of caves after soccer practice transformed into a two-week saga of survival and a story that would capture the world’s attention. With exclusive access and never-before-seen footage from the rescue, the film tells the story of the imagination, determination and unprecedented teamwork displayed during this heroic edge-of-your-seat mission with life-or-death stakes.

Check back for our review of The Rescue soon!

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Guardian investigation finds endangered sharks for sale in Taiwan

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A field investigation into Taiwan’s shark fin industry was conducted by Shark Guardian between December 2020 and March 2021. The investigation obtained documentary evidence of fins from endangered shark species being openly offered for sale by over half of all shark fin traders surveyed in Taiwan’s southern fishing port of Kaohsiung.

Of the 13 shark fin processing and trading companies visited, more than half were found to be trading CITES- listed fins, and seven had shark fins from CITES Appendix II-listed species as part of their product range. One company saidthere was no difference in selling protected or unprotected species. Protected sharks’ products usually create a problem for international shipping only.”

The new report details how seven out of thirteen traders surveyed in Taiwan were found to be selling shark fins from silky sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, mako sharks, thresher sharks and great white sharks in broad daylight – in contravention of Taiwanese and international law.

Over a three-month period, Shark Guardian investigators witnessed multiple shipments of shark fins from endangered species being unloaded at Donggang fish market which is in Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung.

Alex Hofford, Marine Wildlife Campaigner with Shark Guardian, said “To save sharks and the marine environment, Taiwanese authorities should implement an immediate crackdown on its cruel and unsustainable shark fin trade, and should tighten up local laws to ban the domestic sale of shark fin as well as better enforce its international obligations under CITES. It is also high time that the Taiwanese government should rein in its out-of-control distant water tuna fishing fleet, who are a major supplier shark fin to Chinese markets. Whilst Taiwan is a beacon of democratic and progressive values in Asia, it is allowing its unsustainable and often crime-ridden fisheries sector to rape and pillage our ocean with impunity. This must stop. Taiwan needs to show leadership in environmental protection and must quickly clean up its act as regards its sleazy shark fisheries and trade sectors.”

During our investigation, Shark Guardian also found evidence of Taiwan-based online retailers selling fins of endangered species of shark in contravention of local and international law.

According to WWF, a third of all sharks and rays are threatened with extinction, yet fishing and trading in unsustainable shark fin remains a highly profitable, but environmentally destructive, enterprise for Taiwanese companies operating out of Kaohsiung.

Brendon Sing, Co-Director of Shark Guardian said “Clearly more must be done to protect sharks globally. There are over 500 known shark species with only a handful of them listed under CITES. Even then, CITES listed sharks are still traded illegally where monitoring and enforcement lack any power and expose loopholes in the system. As long as this continues, there is no real protection for any shark species regardless of CITES listing or not. Taiwan must be responsible and take positive action in response to this report.”

Shark Guardian believes that excessively large profit margins are the main reason why Taiwan has never acted to rein in its shark fisheries and trade.

Shark Guardian hopes that Taiwan can apply its progressive values towards preserving the marine environment by imposing a comprehensive ban on the physical and online selling all species of shark fin in Taiwan. Such a ban would go above and beyond what is required under international law, and Taiwan’s domestic laws can be changed with public support.

For more information about Shark Guardian visit their website by clicking here.

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Egypt | Safaga, Brothers & Elphinstone | 27 January – 04 February 2022 | Emperor Elite

Jump on board this famous Red Sea liveaboard and enjoy diving the famous wrecks of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer.  Emperor Elite offers a contemporary living space combined with the best itineraries available in the Red Sea.

Price NOW from just £975 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from London Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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