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Maritime Forum

Ride the wave and take part in the #YoungOceanWaves video & photo contest

Please note that the contest is closed. Winners will be announced on 24th of September. Crazy about the ocean? The #EU4Ocean Coalition was running the #YoungOceanWaves contest: What the ocean means to me. We were looking for cool videos & photos...


Please note that the contest is closed. Winners will be announced on 24th of September.

Crazy about the ocean? The #EU4Ocean Coalition was running the #YoungOceanWaves contest: What the ocean means to me. We were looking for cool videos & photos that show your connection to the ocean!

The #YoungOceanWaves contest, promoted by the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) encouraged everybody - especially young people - to show what the ocean means for them: marvelous colours and living creatures? Fun? Sports? Crazy or relaxed adventures? Delicious food or jobs?

How does it work?

The contest was running from 14 July to 18 August 2020, midnight.

To take part in the competition, participants had to follow these steps:

  • Share a (maximum) 30-second video or a photo on your public Instagram account, showing what the ocean means to you.
  • Use the required hashtag #YoungOceanWaves in your post.
  • Feel free to add #EU4Ocean and #Youth4Ocean in your post.
  • Be creative! If you make videos, feel free to express yourself as you like: choose a subject... or be the subject! Move, dance, sing, play, draw, paint, make collages, build something, recite a poem, or perform. Alternatively, if you post a picture, feel free to use filters, effects, collages, etc.

Winners will be chosen by a Jury Panel that will award amazing prizes!

Check the participation rules below.

Eligibility criteria

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have a public Instagram account to take part in the contest.
  • You can only enter as an individual.
  • When sharing your video or photo, the use of the #YoungOceanWaves hashtag in your post is compulsory to take part in the contest.
  • Any language can be used in the video. Video entries not submitted in English must be accompanied by subtitles in English to guarantee wide understanding. Photos that include non-English text must be accompanied by a translation into English as well
  • Only one submission is allowed. Multiple submissions will not be considered.
  • Posts on Instagram Stories are NOT allowed.
  • Re-posts of older posts are considered as long as they are published between 14th July and 18th August 2020. Older posts for which the hashtag is only added in the description text afterward will not be evaluated.
  • Entries shall not infringe intellectual property rights of third parties or image rights (See Terms & Conditions below)

Contest specifications

  1. The video must not exceed 30 seconds in length. Any submitted entry of a longer length will not be considered. No specifications are provided for photos.
  2. The video can be in any format (i.e. Animation, documentary, music video, dynamic infographic, etc.) and you can choose from various possibilities (i.e.: a video with no dialogue, video using simple verbal expressions, video using a multi-lingual dialogue; a video with voiceover, film using subtitling, etc.). The same rule applies to the photos (i.e.: with text, with no text, etc.).
  3. Any language can be used in the video. Video entries not submitted in English must be accompanied by subtitles in English to guarantee wide understanding. Photos that include non-English text must be accompanied by a translation into English as well.
  4. The video should not have any inappropriate content, language, or imagery (no violence, racist comments, pornographic or personal attacks on people or organisations, etc.). The DG MARE Team and Jury Panel reserve the right to disregard those participating videos that we deem to be inappropriate, unlawful, or objectionable.
  5. Copyrights: Videos/photos realised for the contest shall be original work and shall not infringe any third party’s intellectual property rights such as copyrights, related rights, trademarks, or any privacy rights and image rights. Don’t take images of private persons without their consent. No children should be recognisable in the photo. Several sites have free music available for your video and you should use something that does not have copyright (Free music and sound effects for your video from YouTube). Many websites offer low-cost and free stock footage that you can use for your video (;
  6. In case your video/photo is selected for prizes, you will be asked to fill out an online form to a) grant permission to have your name, contribution, biography, and photo on the Maritime Forum website and other online channels of the European Commission, as well as on the online channels of the project partners* managing the contest, and b) confirm that your work does not infringe intellectual property rights of third parties or image rights Failure to fill out the form will result in disqualification from the contest.
  7. By participating in the contest, you also give consent to the European Commission, to use your photos/videos for their own publicity purposes and communication.
  8. The organiser reserves the right to change or replace the competition prizes and/or modify the rules and regulations of the competition as and when necessary, without prior notice.

Terms & Conditions

Detailed Terms & Conditions can be found HERE. Please read them carefully.

Award criteria

Videos and photos will be judged by multiple juries, against the following criteria:

  • Message content (Focus on your connection to the ocean)
  • Creativity & originality: Be original, innovative, inspiring, engaging, witty
  • Videography interest and quality: the variety of shots, camera angles, sound effects, adequate zooming, lighting, location, the sequence of shots, sound and image quality
  • Use of language: take care of grammar, spelling, and clear formulation of messages. Any language is allowed, as long as English subtitles are integrated into the video, and text in English is included in the photo.


  • 14.07 – 18.08: contest running
  • 19-20 August: 1st Pre-selection
  • 24.08 – 27.08: 2nd Pre-selection by internal jury
  • 01.09 – 03.09: Selection of winners from Final Jury
  • 07.09 – 10.09: Winners are contacted and entries are collected
  • Around 15.09: Briefing of the winners
  • 24 September: Award of the winners and screening of videos/photos during the EU4Ocean Coalition online workshop

Selection and Jury

  • 1st selection: A first screening of the entries will be made by the EU4Ocean project internal team. This selection disqualifies the entries that do not meet the eligibility & minimum award criteria
  • 2nd selection: A shortlist of the 20 best photos and videos will be made by an internal jury panel composed of members of the EU4Ocean project
  • Final selection: 3 winners and 7 finalists will be selected by a high-level Jury Panel that includes:

Yann Leymarie, Surfrider Europe


Yann has been working in Surfrider for 4 years and is am now responsible for monitoring and leading Sports and Youth programmes, both at the French and at the EU level. He usually combines his background in diplomacy and international relations with his extended professional knowledge in sustainability, environment protection, and incentive programs when it appears necessary to involve a wide range of actors (public, private, general public). Recreational diver, basketball player for 20+ years and genuine sports’ enthusiast, he is also a translator for Global Voices.

James Nikitine, Manaia Productions


French/British citizen originally from the French Alps near Geneva, James is an interdisciplinary marine scientist with extensive experience working in sustainability and climate change communications in Geneva and Oxford. He holds an MSc in Marine Systems and Policies from the University of Edinburgh and since 2016, has worked producing marine science and policy audiovisual content through his company Manaia Productions. Working all around the globe, he has worked for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, The Pew Trusts, the Ocean Acidification Alliance, the French and British governments. He is a Fellow with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, a professional diver, underwater videographer, and an avid sailor. He recently launched a new ocean science and conservation organisation, Blue Cradle, which aims to operate a sustainable research vessel in the South Pacific region.

Farah Obaidullah, Ocean Advocate & Founder Women4Oceans


Farah holds a Master of Science in Environmental Technology and Bachelor of Science in Biology, both from Imperial College in London. With 16 years’ experience in ocean advocacy, Farah has traveled the world, observing the beauty of the ocean and witnessing some of the most egregious practices happening at sea. Among her achievements, Farah has executed campaigns to end destructive fishing, worked with affected communities, and has been deeply involved in exposing fish crimes, including slavery and labour abuse at sea. Farah is biracial, bicultural, and considers herself a citizen of the world. She lives by the sea in the Netherlands. Farah strongly believes that by embracing our human diversity we can turn the tide for our ocean planet.

Andreea Strachinescu, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)


Andreea Strachinescu, Head of Unit Maritime Innovation, Marine Knowledge and Investment in the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, is responsible for promoting innovative and emerging technologies and solutions, and ensuring broad dissemination of marine knowledge and research. The Unit fosters innovation and provides policy input to Horizon 2020 and to smart specialisation strategies; it is as well in the lead for providing policy input to the European Fund for Strategic Investments and its use in the maritime economy.

Alessandra Portis, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)


Her love for the blue planet and the European project brought her to Brussels some years ago. The twitter sphere is her favourite place, KPIs her bread and butter. Lawyer by training, communicator by heart.


Winning videos/photos will be featured on the Youth4Ocean Forum website, be rewarded at the virtual event that will take place on 24 - 25 September and receive a certificate.

1st prize: A GoPro camera
2nd prize: A 1-year online subscription to National Geographic
3rd prize: Goodie bag from the Nausicaā Centre National de la Mer aquarium
From 4th to 10th place: Participants will win a 20€ value voucher


Communication: Check your Instagram message box regularly. If you win, we will contact you via private message. (Note: If someone you are not following sends you a message, that message will appear in your inbox as a request. To accept or reject the message, swipe left (iOS) or tap and hold (Android) on the message.

You may always reach us with questions: youngoceanwavesatecologic [dot] eu (youngoceanwaves[at]ecologic[dot]eu)

*EU4Ocean is a project funded by the European Commission and implemented by a consortium of 12 partners across Europe, which includes: ACTeon (coordinator, France), Seascape Belgium (Secretariat of the European Marine Observation and Data Network and the European Atlas of the Seas, Belgium), the European Marine Board (EMB, Belgium), Nausicaá-National Sea Centre (France), the World Ocean Network (WON, France), Ciência Viva (Portugal), the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA, Belgium), Ecologic Institute (Germany), the European Centre for Information on Marine Science and Technology (EurOcean, Portugal), Secretariat of Submariners (S.Pro, Germany), MARE Nostrum (Romania), European Schoolnet (Belgium), and Farah Obaidullah (Independent Ocean Advocate & Founder Women4Oceans, The Netherlands).