Fifteen hundred photos to conserve the Balearic Sea

Published 15.12.2022


Fifteen hundred photos to conserve the Balearic Sea

Attack Formation by Simón Vila Font (M.H. Empatía)

The awards ceremony for the third Audiovisual Competition for the Conservation of the Balearic Sea, MARE, was held last night at the Col-legi Oficial d'Arquitectes de les Illes Balears, in the centre of Palma.

The competition attracted 1,500 entries from 120 participants (106 adults and 14 young people) distributed among the four participation profiles: children, young people, amateur adults, and expert adults. A total of €10,000 was distributed in 22 prizes - a cash award for adult participants and underwater equipment for youth participants. The best projects presented will be included in the travelling exhibition that will tour the Balearic Islands in2023.

The winning photographs show the diversity of habitats, species, and underwater and coastal landscapes present in the Balearic Sea; a group of squid in the big blue; a spectacular image of an octopus inside a mollusc; and colourful images of gorgonians and corals. We also found more artistic photographs with wide angles and portraits that allow us to connect with the sea through its beauty, its vulnerability, and calls to action.

Pedro Riera captivated the audience with his story of the rescue of the humpback whale: ‘Thank you, MARE! Between all of us we will bring back the blue to the Mediterranean Sea.’

The Humpback Whale and the Drift Nets by Pedro Riera Llompart (MARE Denuncia).

Winning photographs

Adult expert participation profile: Gotcha!’ by Hidde Juijn (MARE Animalia); Posidonia Seedling by Xavier Mas Ferrà (MARE Plantae); Underwater Fog by Víctor de Valles Ibáñez (MARE Sapiens); The Humpback Whale and the Drift Nets by Pedro Riera Llompart (MARE Denuncia); The Virgin of the Sea by Marc Casanovas Félix (MARE Nostrum-el Mediterráneo); Conch by Vicente Planells Ramón (M. H. Áreas Marinas Protegidas); Attack Formation by Simón Vila Font (M.H. Empatía); and The Giant Tortoise that Visits our Seaby Rafael Fernández Caballero (M.H. Conservation Message).

Amateur adult participation profile: Conviure (Simbiosi) by Margot Bosch Altimiras (MARE Animalia); Silent ball by Fernando Estarellas Calderón (MARE Plantae); Notre mére by Miquel Angel Pascual (MARE Sapiens); Silent Agony by Nicolau Pere Cerdà Pons (MARE Denuncia); His Last Song by Héctor Gago Bellido (MARE Nostrum- la Mediterrània); Cratena peregrina by Alex Morell (M.H. Áreas Marinas Protegidas); El meu amic el pop de Sa Mesquida by Cristina Campano Martín (M.H. Empatía); and Guardian of the Coral by Julio Martínez (M.H. Conservation Message).

Youth participation profile: Adrià Mas Escandell (14), Joan Sans Tous (11), and Daniel Jasper Whittle Riera (13) won the children's profile category and Maria Izquierdo, Laia Bonet Cardona, and Carlos Nicolas Wenham Martínez won the youth profile category.

Sara García Betorz, coordinator of MARE: ‘For the third year in a row we are adding more views of the sea full of beauty and richness from the winning photographs from MARE. I hope that this beauty will spread and become an unstoppable current that will accelerate its conservation. Thanks to all the participants - without your generosity we would not know what lies beneath the water - and to the organisations that make MARE possible.’

The jury selected the images according to the following criteria: photographic quality, originality, faithfulness to reality, and ability to connect with the viewer.

Francis de Andrés, nature photographer and co-founder of IRCC: ‘It has been a pleasure and a difficult job to select the winning photographs. Thanks to the photographers participating in MARE, people who do not have access to the underwater world can get to know the beauty that lives there. They are our eyes to the sea.’ He adds: ‘I would like to see more photographs of flora in future competitions, since the marine plant world is where the rest of the animal life begins.’

MARE is a collaborative initiative that aims to raise awareness and ensure the conservation of the Balearic Sea. It was created by Marilles Foundation, together with Menorca Reserva de la Biosfera, Ibiza Preservation, Mallorca Preservation Foundation, Menorca Preservation Fund, Save the Med, Fundació Iniciatives del Mediterrani, and Foro Marino de Ibiza y Formentera.

MARE is financially supported by Marilles Foundation and Fundatur and is open to the participation of other entities and sponsors who wish to contribute to making the beauty of the Balearic Sea visible and to work for its conservation.

Aniol Esteban, director of Marilles Foundation: ‘The MARE photographs show that the Balearic Sea is still one of the best conserved areas of the Mediterranean, but it is under pressure. It is urgent to act for its conservation. A sea in excellent condition is essential for the future of the Balearic Islands and the well-being of its citizens.’





Sara García Betorz, coordinator MARE Tel. 670 885862