A photograph of the coral reef ecosystem on Yen Islet in the central province of Phu Yen won second prize at the Ocean Geographic Pictures of the Year Awards.
The shot, taken by lensman Nguyen Ngoc Thien, captures the carpets of coral reefs that rise up during low tide on Yen Islet, around 15 kilometers north of Tuy Hoa, the capital town of Phu Yen.
With the runner-up spot in the ‘Coral Reefs of the World category, Thien won a $500 OG Expedition voucher plus a $1,000 Aurora Expedition voucher.
Hon Yen is home to beautiful, very fragile coral reefs that have been placed under strict government protection.
Since all coral reefs are sensitive and vulnerable to natural resources, local authorities advise people against walking on their surfaces, which could deform or kill them, destroying the habitats of many marine species.
Vietnam has 3,260 km of coastline stretching from north to south, with over 1,100 square kilometers of coral reefs. Between April and August is the most beautiful coral reef diving season in the central region.
Organized by Australia-based Ocean Geographic Society and Ocean Geographic magazine, the 10th edition of the contest has attracted thousands of entries to compete in 17 different categories.