Millimages des Récifs Edition 2023

Institute for Pacific Coral Reefs (IRCP)

Millimages des Récifs Edition 2023

Millimages des Récifs Edition 2023 900 675 Ocean Decade

Discover the 23 winning shots from the Millimages des Récifs contest 2023, organized by the Pacific Coral Reef Institute in French Polynesia.

This contest, opened to photographs from French Polynesia, received 185 shots, highlighting the underwater beauties of the coral reef ecosystems. Vetea Liao wone the imposed category “Reefs and Leisure” and a trip to the Marquesas Island with ARANUI CRUISES. His image, ‘Underwater fishing: sport or livelihood’ shows a fisherman “flying” above an amazing coral reef. In addition, winners have been selected in 3 categories: Free – people could send any picture of coral reefs from French Polynesia, Vahine – the category sponsored by the VAHINE ARATA’I association helping female entrepreneur and, New hope – the category for young photographs under 25years old. For the second time, the IRCP added two categories: Inspiring pictures, selected by cultural personalities of French Polynesia. And the Public vote.


La pêche sous-marine : sport ou activité de subsistance by Vetea Liao

While healthy coral reefs provide a home for many fish, the exploitation of this resource must be reasonable and respectful. Underwater fishing, using a rifle also known as Pupuhi in Tahitian, is a popular sport in French Polynesia. It is also a means of subsistence for many families.


Fleur de corail by Matangi Moeroa

Taken at night, when the polyps of this Acropora coral have emerged from their lodges to begin their feast. Corals are carnivorous animals that feed on zooplankton. In tropical zones, they live in symbiosis with micro-algae, the Zooxanthellae, which provide them with energy via the waste products of photosynthesis.


Délicate blennie by Anne-Marie Trinh

The blennie Glyptoparus delicatulus is a small fish only a few centimetres long. It takes refuge in a hole at the slightest disturbing approach. In this shot, you can clearly see its two pairs of cirri, or sensory organs. One pair is above its eyes, the other on its nostrils. Its eyes are mobile and independent.


Festin Royal by @behind_the_objectif

The starfish Acanthaster planci lives up to its name of Crown of Thorns. As an adult, this echinoderm feeds mainly on coral. To feed, this starfish unscrews its stomach and applies it to the coral polyps. It then digests them on the spot before retracting its stomach. This photo shows a detail of one of the star’s arms, with its sharp spines and its podia, the flexible translucent organs it uses to move around.


Tupuna by Matangi Moeroa

Texte by Tamara Maric, Polynesian archeologist.

My choice fell on this photograph in the “Libre” category, where the coral block, evoking an anthropomorphic form, conjures up an ancestral figure (tupuna in Tahitian) for the photographer. The sea god Ruahatu, master of the ocean and the abyss, seems to appear. In some Tuamotu islands, Ruahatu was also a tuputupūa spirit, guardian of the turtles and personified by coral branches. These were placed as offerings on small platforms, called “ruahatu”.


Le bain by Marc Lenfant

A young grandmother introduces her 3-year-old grandson to the underwater world. This photo was taken at the PAE PAE NO TE ORA association’s underwater trail in the commune of Punaauia, Tahiti.


Doux regard by Marc Lenfant

The Javanese moray eel Gymnothorax javanicus is the largest of its kind (up to 2.50 m). The tubes in front are its nostrils. It regularly opens and closes its mouth to allow water to pass through its gills and facilitate breathing.


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