Some fish enthusiasts bring home mounted displays of their catch.
Jim Decker of Cobble Hill brought home three awards for his photos of sea life instead.
Recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the small, remote island of Yap in the western Pacific Ocean, Decker was among divers from the U.S., Canada, Taiwan, Korea and Germany attending MantaFest 2018.
These underwater enthusiasts came together to dive among the island’s resident population of manta rays, reef sharks and other colorful denizens and study with professional underwater photographers.
Taken with a DSLR camera, Decker’s photo of a black-tip reef shark took Best of Class in the Big Animals category with a prize of a Sola 2000 Flood-Dive Video Light.
His photo of an anemone shrimp was awarded the top prize in the Macro category garnering a Mares Matrix Dive Computer.
And Decker’s dramatic shot of one of Yap’s famous manta rays took Best of Show, winning the underwater photographer a 10-day Dive Damai Liveaboard Tour in the Indonesian archipelago.
Held annually by the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, MantaFest brings divers from around the world for two weeks of photo workshops, special dives, evening media presentations, one-on-one training by top professionals, a photo contest, dive party and tours of the island.
In addition to diving, snorkeling and deep sea fishing, Yap is renowned for its unique stone money currency and its culture that is among the best preserved in the Pacific region.
For more information, go to www.mantaray.com or #mantaraybay.