Hannah Le Leu's award-winning photo of a green sea turtle hatchling.
  • The Ocean Photography Awards has announced its 2021 award winners.
  • From colourful squids to baby sea turtles, the images capture the beauty of the underwater world.
  • Aimee Jan won the first-place prize with an image of a turtle surrounded by glass fish.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

These award-winning images from the 2021 Ocean Photography Awards capture the mystery of the underwater world. Aimee Jan's photo of a turtle surrounded by glass fish was the contest's winner.

A green turtle, surrounded by glass fish in Ningaloo Reef, Australia.

The competition's runner-up was Henley Spiers, who captured this energetic image of diving gannets, a type of seabird.

Henley Spiers caught this photo of seabirds as they embark on fishing dives in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.

Third place in the overall contest went to Matty Smith for his image of a hawksbill turtle hatchling heading out to sea. The turtle was just a few minutes old, according to Smith's caption on the contest website.

A hawksbill sea turtle heads out to sea for the first time in Papua New Guinea.

In the adventure photographer of the year category, Ben Thouard was awarded first place for an action-packed photo of a surfer in Tahiti.

Surfer Matahi Drollet catches a wave known as Teahupo’o in Tahiti.

Thouard also placed second in the same category with this image, which has a unique, low-angle shot.

A wave known as Teahupo’o, as seen from below.

Sebastien Pontoizeau's image of a free diver and a humpback whale placed third in the adventure photographer of the year category.

A freediver duck-dives to capture a photograph of a humpback whale.

There was only one winner in the community choice category, and it was Phil de Glanville for this image of surfer Jack Robinson in Western Australia.

Surfer Jack Robinson rides waves off the coast of Western Australia.

Stefan Christmann's impressive penguin photo collection, including this image of two emperor penguin fathers, earned the photographer the collective portfolio award.

Two emperor penguin fathers meet on the sea ice, showing their offspring.

Runner-up for the collective portfolio award was Matty Smith for his photographs of colourful marine animals, including this image of a striate anglerfish.

A striate anglerfish, captured by Matty Smith.

Finally, Alex Kydd earned the third spot in the collective portfolio award with a series of images they took off the coast of Western Australia and West Papua, Indonesia.

A whale shark swimming in the blue on the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

Kerim Sabuncuoglu won in the conservation photographer of the year for this heart-wrenching image of a dead moray eel on a fishing line.

A dead moray eel on an abandoned fishing line.

Second-place in the category also features the tragic outcome of fishing line. Galice Hoarau snapped this image of a seagull caught on a ghost fishing line in Norway.

A gull caught on a ghost fishing line.

This image of a nautilus - a type of marine mollusk - floating with a piece of trash earned Steven Kovacs third place in the conservation photographer of the year category.

A female paper nautilus drifts along on a piece of trash in Anilao, Philippines.

Martin Broen won the award for exploration photographer of the year with this photo of an underwater cave in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Speleothems cast long shadows at cenote Dos Pisos in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Kovacs was also a runner-up for the exploration photographer of the year category with this image of a rare, deep-water eel larva.

A rare deep-water cusk eel larva spotted in Florida.

Smith's detailed portrait of a squid earned him third place in the exploration photographer of the year category.

For the first time, the competition added a "female fifty fathoms" award, designed to celebrate women photographers. Renee Capozzola won first place with her portfolio of work, including this image of a blacktip reef shark.

A lone blacktip reef shark lines up its dorsal fin with the setting sun in Moorea, French Polynesia.

Jan, who won the overall contest, came in second place in the female fifty fathoms category with her image of a solitary manta ray feeding off the coast of Western Australia.

A manta ray feeds in calm waters.

A breathtaking image of a leopard shark by Emily Ledwidge placed third in the female fifty fathoms category.

A leopard shark slowly swims away on the Ningaloo Reef.

Hannah Le Leu was deemed the young photographer of the year for her image of a green sea turtle hatchling bobbing in the ocean.

A green sea turtle hatchling cautiously surfaces for air.

Jack McKee earned second place in the same category for a whimsical image of a juvenile flying fish.

A juvenile flying fish, photographed from below in Australia.

Finally, an image of two gray whales and their perfect poses earned Mikayla Jones third place in the young photographer of the year category.

Two gray whales looked like they were posing for Mikayla Jones' photo.

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