The International Seabed Authority is pleased to announce the winners of its 2024 art competition organized in celebration of World Oceans Day. The winners were chosen in local and international categories.

The winners of the international category, open to everyone around the world over the age of 16, are:

First prize: Gabadage Dona Bhagya Madhubhashini (30), Sri Lanka

Our childhoods were filled with stories about the ocean and mermaids that we loved, and this drawing brings those childhood dreams to life.

At the heart of the illustration lies a massive, mysterious portal door glowing with strange symbols. Interesting, right?!

We can see the shadow of a huge and strange octopus coming through the portal, its body covered in the same glowing symbols as the door. Perhaps it is guarding the mystery portal.

The seascape is filled with a magical vibe, from vibrant corals to tiny, firefly-like creatures. Some glowing manta rays swim close by, and they bear the same mystical symbols as the portal door. A nearby ancient shipwreck hints that past explorers tried to reach this portal but met an unfortunate fate.

This artwork encourages viewers to unleash their imagination power.

In the real world, scientists explore the mysterious depths of the ocean, revealing its wonders. We are grateful for their efforts in helping us understand this unseen world.

May this drawing inspire little kids to dream of becoming ocean explorers!


Second prize: Mohamed Chiboub (40), Morocco

In “Catalan Memory,” I invite viewers into a swirling mosaic of blues and turquoise, a celebration of fluidity and motion inspired by the mesmerizing beauty of the sea. This piece captures the essence of the ocean’s rhythm, where each brushstroke and shape reflect the dance of light upon water, evoking a sense of tranquillity and endless possibility.

The artwork’s geometric fragmentation is reminiscent of Antoni Gaudí’s architectural marvels, specifically his use of trencadís, a technique of broken tile mosaics. The irregular shapes and vibrant hues create a dynamic visual symphony, paying homage to the Catalan Modernism movement. As the eye follows the spiral pattern, it is drawn deeper into the vortex, symbolizing a journey through memory and time.

“Catalan Memory” embraces spontaneity and emotion through an abstract impressionist approach. The varying shades of blue represent the depth of the sea and sky, conveying feelings of peace, introspection and infinity. The intricate arrangement of each piece suggests a meticulous yet organic process, mirroring the natural world’s blend of chaos and order.

“Catalan Memory” is a tribute to the timeless beauty of the Mediterranean and the artistic heritage of Catalonia, inviting viewers to explore their connections to these powerful, enduring elements.


The winners of the local competition open to school children in Jamaica under the age of 16 are:

First prize: Tyler Lobban (15)

The use of primary colours in this piece was deliberate. I wanted to keep the colour palette as uncomplicated as possible.

I used yellow as highlights and red as shadows. The choice of red as shadows was a contrast to the blue because I did not want the blue to overpower the entire piece. The main focus of the piece is the astronaut. I chose an astronaut because they explore space, similar to how divers explore the ocean and how both environments are mostly unknown.

The juxtaposition of the astronaut in the ocean mirrors real life in that we can only see the beauty in situations if we are willing to come out of our comfort zones and appreciate environments that may be unfamiliar. Although divers and astronauts both explore unfamiliar places, an astronaut is geographically the furthest away from a diver. I therefore thought it would be very fitting for an astronaut to be “Beneath the Surface: Unveiling Hidden Realms.”


Second prize: Llori Seville (11)

There has always been a mystery surrounding the infamous Mariana Trench.

The image depicts two divers who were brave enough to satisfy their curiosity by visiting a section of the area. The Mariana Trench is in the western Pacific Ocean, and because of its depth, it is extremely dark and spooky. The trench stretches for more than 1,580 miles in length and is deeper than the height of Mount Everest, which is the tallest mountain in the world.

The image teaches us that there are always hidden treasures that provide pockets of light in every situation, no matter how dark it may appear.


Third prize: Shawn Chin-See (14)

My artwork, entitled “Deep Conversation,” was completed on 30 May 2024.

I did some research before attempting this painting and became intrigued by the bioluminescent creations of the deep. I learned that the earth is over 71 per cent water and that the oceans account for over 90 per cent of that figure. I can only imagine that many underwater creatures may be undiscovered. Vessels like bathyscaphe are one of many built by humans to explore the deep seas. The vessel in the painting is my interpretation of a deep-sea diving vessel like the bathyscaphe. This artwork is a gesture of respect to the animals of the deep. Also, the artwork acknowledges the many adventurers and scientists who may have explored the deep seas to understand better the animals living there.

A big congratulations to our winners and a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part!