Arthur’s Kingdon’s striking image of a rare black-faced blenny, taken at Swanage pier, Dorset, has won the British Society of Underwater Photographers‘ (BSoUP) and The Wildlife Trusts‘ annual underwater photography competition.

black faced blennyBlack-faced benny by Arthur Kingdon

Mr Kingdon’s photograph of this shy species, which is only found off the south coast of Britain, impressed the judges with its vivid colours. He will receive a year’s free membership of his local Wildlife Trust and a copy of Prof Callum Roberts’ book The Unnatural History of the Sea.

Mr Kingdon said: ‘I was pleased to win the 2010 British and Irish Award from The Wildlife Trusts, having been a runner-up a couple of years ago. I very much support its Living Seas campaign, and I’m a member of my local Trust in Wiltshire.

‘This black-faced blenny (also known as a yellow triple fin) was under Swanage pier. Although only about three inches long, he was quite easy to see, but it took me a while to spot the very-well-camouflaged female that he was trying to impress.’

Spider CrabSpider crab by Trevor Rees

The runner-up was Trevor Rees’s portrait of a mighty spider crab. Mr Rees said: ‘I took this shot at Stackpole quay in Pembrokeshire. This spider crab was just wandering about on the sand in only 32ft depth.

‘The males are the best ones to photograph, as they are bigger and have more impressive claws—although they can be quite aggressive!’

Highly commended entries included:

ShannyShanny by Helen Wehnercuttlefish eyeCuttlefish eye by Dave Peake flounderFlounder by Martin Davieshermit crabHermit crab by Jim Greenfield/oceaneyephoto.com spider crabSpider crab on peacock worm by Cathy Lewis/cathylewisphotography.com sea hareSea hare by Robert Bailey

Judges for the BSoUP’s annual print competition gathered at the London International Dive Show on March 28, with The Wildlife Trusts judging the British and Irish categories.

The winners captured the essence of ‘living seas’, according to the judges—the colourful and diverse wildlife and habitats found around our coasts.

Lisa Chilton, judged and Living Seas manager, commented: ‘This competition is one of the most important events in the calendar for the UK’s marine wildlife.

‘Each year, we’re astounded by the remarkable entries, and overjoyed at the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the weird and wonderful goings-on beneath the ocean waves.

‘Mr Kingdon’s image of this tiny fish that pluckily defends from all-comers his territority on the seabed illustrates precisely why we’re working so hard to make sure the Marine and Coastal Access Act is implemented correctly, with comprehensive protection for our marine wildlife and habitats.’

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