The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science announces it is now accepting entries for its annual Underwater Photography Contest. Since its inception in 2005, the contest has drawn several thousand entrants from across the globe and a collection of beautiful images. The deadline for submitting photos is 12p.m., U.S. Eastern Time on Friday, March 18, 2016.

6rsmas-photo-contest-6802015 Best overall winner Andrey Shpatak Japanese War Bonnet (Chirolophis japonicas)- Japan sea, Rudnaya Bay

Judged anonymously by a panel of professional photographers and marine scientists, photographs are divided into five separate categories:

• Fish or Marine Animal Portrait
• Macro
• Wide Angle
• Student
• Best overall

The top prize is a trip on Blackbeard’s Cruises, departing from Freeport, Bahamas (trip prizes do not include gratuities, port taxes, Bahamas Underwater National Park fees, gear rental, etc., and are subject to availability). There will also be monetary awards for those finishing in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of the categories. Divers Direct, the largest SCUBA retailer in the U.S., is providing the awards for the Student Category.

The Underwater Photography Contest is open to all amateur photographers who earn no more than 20 percent of their income from photography. Eligible photos must not have been published or accepted for publication and must be the original work of the submitter. No pool or aquarium shots will be accepted.

The winners will be announced this year at the Rosenstiel School’s popular Sea Secrets Lecture Series on April 14. A reception and exhibit immediately after the lecture will take place on the Rosenstiel School campus to recognize the winners of the 2016 Underwater Photo Contest. To view past winners, contest rules and entry form, click here.

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