Submissions and Voting have now Closed for 2022!

Check out this year's winning photos!

Photo Categories

REEF members may submit up to three photos in each of six different 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. Fish Portraits entered into the following category must be from the corresponding region where the photo was taken. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each of the two subcategories as well as an overall winner based on the highest amount of votes between the Temperate and Tropical regions.

  • Fish Portrait Temperate Region:  West Coast of the United States and Canada (PAC), Northeast US & Canada (NE), Eastern Atlantic & Mediterranean (EAM), South Atlantic States (SAS)
  • Fish Portrait Tropical Region: Tropical Western Atlantic (TWA), Hawaii (HAW), South Pacific (SOP), Central Indo-Pacific (CIP), Indian Ocean-Red Sea (IORS), Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP)

(To see a map of our REEF regions, click here)

Macro: Shots that are extremely close up, making the subject appear larger than life-size.
Invertebrates: Images featuring a marine invertebrate.
REEF in Action: Photos involving something REEF themed, examples are REEF survey dives, REEF events or activities, creative REEF "surveys" from home, etc.
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.

Guidelines for Entry

Contestants should submit photos following the links below for each of the six categories. You are limited to one photo per submission but are allowed to submit up to three photos per category. For multiple submissions please follow the links below for each entry.

  • Please include contact information in your submission.
  • All entries must be received by 12:00 pm EDT on July 31.
  • There is no fee to participate.
  • The 2022 Photo Contest winners will be featured on REEF’s website, social media, and other communications channels.

Submission Form Links

Fish Portrait Category - Temperate Regions (PAC, NE, EAM, SAS)
Fish Portrait Category - Tropical Regions (TWA, HAW, SOP, CIP, IORS, TEP)
Macro Category
Invertebrate Category
REEF in Action Category
Habitat/Seascape/Environment Category

(To see a map of our REEF regions, click here)

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 six 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 August 1-15. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category for the photo that receives the most votes. An overall Fish Portrait photo will be chosen from the highest amount of votes between the Temperate and Tropical regions. 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: