Voting for the 2023 Contest is now OPEN until September 30!

Vote by following the links below

Photo Categories

Submissions have now closed

REEF members may submit up to three photos per category, in each of the following categories:

Fish Portrait: A portrait shot of fish only. Portrait shots usually focus on one fish and can be of its whole body or framed tightly around its head. (Portrait photos of Sea Turtles are also accepted in this category)
Macro: Shots that are extremely close up, making the subject appear larger than life-size.
Invertebrates: Images featuring a marine invertebrate.
REEF Survey: In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the REEF Volunteer Fish Survey Project (VFSP), photos may include divers or snorkelers participating in the VFSP as citizen scientists, including conducting REEF surveys in the water, or topside survey activities such as data entry or fish ID classes.
Habitat/Seascape/Environment: These photos must be of a marine environment or seascape. They do not have to be underwater but must be marine-focused, examples are over/under shots, mangroves, topside water shots, etc.


Please follow the links below for each category and vote for your favorite photos. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category for the photo that receives the most votes. The winning photos and photographers will be announced after the voting has ended on September 30.

Voting Links

Fish Portrait
REEF Survey

*Please note: If you are having trouble voting please try using your phone and that should fix the issue.

Thank you for your participation! For information about the Discover the Sea photography contest, visit If you have any questions, please email

Guidelines for Entry

Contestants should submit photos following the links below. Each photo must be submitted separately.

  • Please include contact information in your submission.
  • All entries must be received by 12:00 pm EDT on September 18.
  • There is no fee to participate.
  • The 2023 Photo Contest winners will be featured on REEF’s website, social media, and other communications channels.

Rules and Policies

● Submissions are for REEF members only. If you are not a REEF member, please join here:
● Photographers can enter any (and all) of the categories described above, submitting no more than three photos per category.
● Photos do not have to be taken underwater but must contain marine/ocean-focused subject matter.
● Photos taken as a result of harassment of marine life may be disqualified at our discretion.
● To ensure anonymity in judging, please do not watermark your images.
● All photos submitted must follow all guidelines set by REEF. REEF reserves the right to disqualify any photos deemed unfit.


Submissions will be judged by a popular vote. Voting will be open online from September 19 - 30. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category for the photo that receives the most votes. The winning photos and photographers will be announced after the voting has ended.

Image Usage

Copyright of all photos submitted is maintained by the author. REEF reserves the right to use or reproduce all submitted photos for training and conservation programming, with photo credit.

Conservation Challenge

By entering or voting in this year's contest you are eligible for the exclusive Discover the Sea Photo Contest Sticker. Click here for more details on the Conservation Challenge.

Previous Contests

2022 Winners:

2021 Winners:

2020 Winners:

2019 Winners: