WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Runner-up 2010

Wildlife Photojournalist Award

Brian Skerry, United States of America

Scraping the bottom

This is how shrimps (prawns) are caught off La Paz in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. Whether a trawl net is small, like this one, or large, the design is similar worldwide: two steel doors help keep open the maw of the net as a boat drags it along. Such a design is hugely effective, catching shrimps but also everything else in its path. As it drags along the bottom, it also destroys whole communities, including the corals and sponges that provide habitat for so many other animals and which may take years to grow back.

Technical specification

Image 1: Nikon D2X + 14mm lens; 1/60 sec at f9; ISO 250; Subal housing; Hartenberger strobes.
Image 2: Nikon D3 + 14-24mm lens; 1/30 sec at f5.6; ISO 1600.
Image 3: Nikon D2X + 16mm lens; 1/160 sec at f11; ISO 320; Subal housing; Sea & Sea YS90 strobes.
Image 4: Nikon D2X + 12-24mm lens; 1/60 sec at f9; ISO 200.
Image 5: Nikon D2X + 16mm lens; 1/125 sec at f9; ISO 100; Subal housing; Sea & Sea YS90 strobes.
Image 6: Nikon D2X + 16mm lens; 1/60 sec at f8; ISO 100; Subal housing; Sea & Sea YS90 strobes.


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Brian Skerry

Brian Skerry, United States of America

Brian is a photojournalist specialising in marine wildlife and underwater environments. He's the author of 10 books and has lectured at venues such as the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland), The National Press Club in Washington, DC, and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He has held solo exhibitions in cities such as Perpignan, Geneva, Barcelona, Lisbon, Shanghai and Washington, DC. In 2014 he was named a National Geographic Photography Fellow.

  • Feast of the ancient mariner
  • The commodity market
  • Scraping the bottom
  • The true cost of shrimps
  • Waste products
  • The sacrifice
  • Creative dining
  • The ancient ritual
  • Dolphin downtime
  • Tears of blood