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Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo Contest 2017

In celebration of the Year of the Monk Seal, NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce a photo contest to showcase Hawaiian monk seals in a photographic calendar, which will be available for 2018!

Year of the Monk Seal Photo Contest — Winners Announced!

A few weeks ago we announced the 74 finalists for our first Year of the Monk Seal photo calendar competition! Voting for ALL categories closed on Friday, October 27 at 6:00 pm HST. The photo with the most Facebook ‘likes’ per category of the contest won. Check out the photo contest winners!

Printable 2018 Hawaiian Monk Seal Calendar

Our 2018 Hawaiian monk seal calendar is now available in a tabloid (11" x 17") digital PDF format for downloading and printing. The calendar includes winning photos from the 2017 Hawaiian Monk Seal Photo Contest, facts about monk seals, and interesting information about their natural history.

What to Enter:

We are looking for beautiful and compelling photos that fall into one of the following categories and will help to promote responsible wildlife viewing and conservation-themed messages:

  1. Coexistence with Hawai‘i’s native seal: Hawaiian monk seals are native and found nowhere else in the world but Hawai‘i! Safe and responsible coexistence of monk seals and people is possible, including fishing, diving, and beach use.
  2. Threats to survival: Threats Hawaiian monk seals face like marine debris and unleashed dogs, and how you can help.
  3. Monk seals in their natural setting: Seals interacting naturally with other species like fish, honu, crabs, and seabirds. Fun and interesting seal behavior like foraging or tossing sand.
  4. Monument Insight: An opportunity for staff, contractors, and volunteers working on projects for NOAA Fisheries, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and other partners in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, also known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, to show images of monk seals in an environment uninhabited by humans.
  5. Professional: This contest is open to anyone and everyone, from keiki with cameras to weekend hobbyists to seasoned professionals. If you happen to be one of the pros, this category is for you!

Responsible seal photography is paramount and images that are taken unethically will be disqualified. Photographs taken from within 50 feet or showing seals that appear to be disturbed, stressed, or harassed by the photographer will not be considered.

Submission Requirements:

  • All entries must be original, unpublished work.
  • NOAA will have unrestricted use of all submitted photos and accompanying material.
  • Please note all photos will be available for public viewing. Photographer assumes responsibility for obtaining consent from any persons appearing in their photograph(s) and must obtain written consent prior to submission.
  • Each photo must be submitted as a JPEG or JPG file. Please send full sized, high-resolution, horizontal digital files no smaller than 1 MB.
  • Photographs may be in color or black and white.
  • Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person or submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer.
  • Photographs may not be watermarked by the submitter. NOAA Fisheries will watermark all photos prior to public voting.
  • Entrants may submit up to five entries.

Who Can Enter:

Anyone and everyone.


September 15, 2017 by 11:59 PM HST.


The judging panel will be conducted by NOAA Fisheries staff in the initial rounds. Judging will be based on composition, general aesthetic, relevance to category, and conservation message embodied. Selection of final winners will be conducted via public online voting.


Will be acknowledged in the calendar and will receive a free calendar and possibly other monk seal perks! Top photos will be part of our Hawaiian Monk Seal Art Show at the end of the year (more details to come).

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