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North Carolina Aquarium Announces 2008 Photography Contest

Black-barred soldierfish, first place 07 Open Category, photo by Chris Smith

Grab your camera and dive into the North Carolina Aquariums' Photo Contest. The annual competition for amateur and non-professional photographers puts the focus on the state's diverse aquatic life.

Images from the waters off North Carolina's coast or within the state's freshwater system can be entered in "Underwater Open" or "Underwater Close-ups," depending on the scene depicted.

Don’t do the deep sea? Stay high and dry while snapping shots for the "Aquatic Life in the Aquariums" category. The North Carolina Aquariums at Pine Knoll Shores, at Fort Fisher and on Roanoke Island offer ample photo opportunities, with thousands of animals and dozens of exhibits.

Participants can submit up to three photographs in each of the three categories. Cash prizes of $500 for first, $200 for second, $100 for third and $50 for honorable mention will be awarded in each category. East Carolina Bank sponsors the contest.

The deadline to enter is Dec. 31, 2008. See the Aquariums' website for detailed rules and entry forms, and to see the 2007 winners.

The three North Carolina Aquariums, under the N.C. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, host the annual contest to highlight the state’s biodiversity. The Aquariums share the mission, "inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments."

The Aquariums are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for ages 62 and over and $6 for ages 6-17. Children 5 and under and North Carolina Aquarium Society members are admitted free. Visit for more information.