WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Underwater Worlds

Nuno Sá, Portugal

Racing blue

Within minutes of lowering a container of bait into the sea, 'a torpedo-shaped shark shot up from the deep blue below,' says Nuno, alerted by the movement as well as the smell. Nuno's boat was over a seamount off the coast of Faial Island in the Azores, being used by a research team from the University of the Azores studying the importance of such seamounts as possible mating areas for blue sharks. Nuno's aim was to illustrate the beauty of this top predator, built for speed. Though supposedly abundant, an estimated 20 million blue sharks are caught annually, either as bycatch or for their fins to supply the Asian food market. The likelihood is that the population is in fast decline.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 7D + Tokina 10-17mm lens; 1/250 sec at f9; ISO 160; Aquatica housing; Ikelite 160 strobes.


Faial Island, Azores: latitude 38.5913, longitude -28.6965 Faial Island, Azores: latitude 38.5913, longitude -28.6965

Faial Island, Azores

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Nuno Sá, Portugal