It’s official: The winner of the 2012 Guylian Seahorses of the World Photo Competition is Wendy Hoevenaars, with a stunning image of pygmy seahorses. Congratulations, Wendy!
The award, sponsored by Project Seahorse partner Guylian Belgian Chocolate, was one of three prizes handed out to talented photographers from around the world at the Nelos Underwater Photo and Video Festival in Antwerp, Belgium on Oct. 6.
Wendy’s photo, shot near Manado, Indonesia, shows a pair of pygmy seahorses (H pontohi). The jury, which included Project Seahorse’s Dr. Amanda Vincent, agreed that “to be able to capture such tiny creatures in that setting is remarkable.”
Wendy describes taking the photograph: “Last year I went to Indonesia for two weeks to dive. On the second day I spotted my first Pygmy seahorse. Obviously I wanted a picture of it. When a few seconds later I discovered that there was a second smaller seahorse hidden behind it, I knew I had an unique shot.”
Second prize was awarded to Filip Staes, for his beautiful photo of a Jayakar’s seahorse (H. jayakari). Gino Meskens received third prize for his photo, also of a Jayakar’s seahorse. View the winners and all 15 finalists on the Project Seahorse blog.
Thanks to all of the fantastic photographers who partcipated in the competition. It is an important event for Project Seahorse. The rights to each of the photo submissions are donated to the organization. We use the photos for scientific study and to raise awareness about marine conservation and issues affecting seahorse species around the world.
For her winning entry, Wendy receives a €750 gift voucher for diving gear. All competitors received a gift bag of Guylian chocolate delicacies.
For more information about the competition, visit Guylian's website.