S'porean wins nature photography award for photo of sea creature clinging onto plastic bag

6 months ago 218

A Singaporean photographer won a photography prize with a photo of a sea creature clinging onto a plastic bag he took while blackwater diving off the Philippines.

Toh Xing Jie, 29, won the "Human and Nature" category for Nature Photographer of The Year (NPOTY) 2023, a global competition held annually by a Netherlands non-profit organisation, Nature Talks, since 2016.

The NPOTY saw 21,474 entries from 96 countries submitted in 2023. A cash prize of €500 (S$730) is given to the winner of each category, while the overall winner gets €3,000 (S$4,380).

"The Sad Poncho"

Image via Nature Photographer of The Year

Toh's submission, "The Sad Poncho", depicts a nautilus clinging onto a plastic bag, having likely mistaken it for a jellyfish.

Nautili are marine animals that use their buoyancy to latch onto passing jellyfish in the ocean as a form of transport and to siphon the jellyfish's food for themselves.

In his submission, Toh said his photograph shows the environmental impact of human actions.

Locals in Anilao, Philippines — where the photograph was taken — shared with him that families would often dump their trash on a nearby mountain because of the inaccessibility of trash points.

They said the litter get scattered into the ocean during typhoons.

He said his photograph tells "a sobering truth" that the nautilus – despite living more than 20m underwater – had found plastic packaging, like "a person in a torn poncho".


Read Entire Article