June 22, 2017, Suva: With a total of a 174 stunning photographs submitted from across most Pacific Island countries over three months (March-May 2017), it was indeed a difficult task to select winners for the 2017 Pacific Year for the Oceans #myoceanmatters campaign. Winners were announced yesterday, after making a selection from the top 20 submitted photographs, by the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) internal judging committee on their social media platforms.

 PIDF would like to express its gratitude to all who participated in the photo contest and congratulates the first, second and third place winners for the competition. Also a hearty congratulations to the most liked photograph on our social media platforms.

“It was certainly encouraging to see the number of entries and quality of photographs submitted from across Pacific Island Countries and we encourage the use of photography to inspire, illuminate and inform our communities about our ocean world and beyond,” said PIDF Secretary General, François Martel.

“The #myoceanmatters Photo Contest was an exciting opportunity for our communities to participate in acknowledging 2017 as the Pacific Year for the Oceans and documenting why it matters to them”, he further added.

 Secretary General Martel also acknowledged all participants and said that everyone was a winner in a way for participating in the contest and for their continued efforts on ocean advocacy.  

 The PIDF Secretariat is currently organising an event to host the winners to a prize presentation function at the Nasese based office. All entries into the photo contest can be viewed on PIDF Facebook page and top 20 entries can be viewed on the PIDF website as well.



Ist place winner: Photographer: Grahame Stageman (grayandsanya@connect.com.fj)
Location: Nasese, Suva, Fiji

About the photo: Camakau under the moon -Taken – 17th April 2017 5.23am
“The photo reminds me that there was a time when we sailed the oceans without burning fossil fuels, without the associated pollution of the modern day and with navigation accomplished by our knowledge and use of the stars. Methods and traditions so easily overlooked if it were not for the people that build and maintain these craft for us to admire”.

2nd place winner: Photographer: Lee Arkhie Perez (leearkhieperez@gmail.com)
Where: Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

About the photo: Sunset in Sokeh’s

Beautiful Sunset in the backdrop as Fishermen passed by the Sokehs Rock! The ocean provides for us but now it is our turn to provide for it to ensure our survival”.

3rd place winner: Photographer: David Lum (dave_fj@hotmail.com)
When & Where: 13th March, 2017- Queen Elizabeth Drive, Suva, Fiji.
About the photo: Sustenance Through Harmony in Nature
The ocean sustains not only the creatures that live in it and humans that depend on it for source of food, but also mangrove trees that create that vital balance in our ecosystem. As the ocean and mangroves coexist in harmony, so should humans with the seas and the mangroves. Indiscriminate pollution of the ocean is causing irreversible damage to a much bigger ecosystem.

Most Liked on Social Media Platform: Photographer: Chelsie C. Gumabon
Location: Guam, March 9, 2017

About the Photo: Hila’an Beach,
“Calling all ocean warriors to join me. Let’s figure out what we can do to keep our oceans healthy for the next generation”.