Seaweek contest to focus on healthy seas, people

An annual photography competition celebrating the sea starts tomorrow ahead of next months' national Seaweek event.

Cawthron Institute community educator Jo Thompson said there was a range of free events and activities during Seaweek, which ran from March 2 to 10.

"Seaweek is the national annual celebration of the sea for New Zealanders, organised by the New Zealand Association of Environmental Educators," Mrs Thompson says. "It has a focus on celebrating our oceans and this year's theme is ‘Healthy Seas, Healthy People'."

She said as an island nation New Zealand's marine area was 15 times larger than our land area and the country's exclusive economic zone was the fourth largest in the world.

"This amazing environment is home to more than 15,000 known species, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world."

The annual Cawthron Seaweek Photography Competition starts tomorrow and closes at 4pm on Friday, March 8. The competition will be run through the Friends of Cawthron Facebook page.

People wanting to enter the competition need to "like" the Facebook page and post a photo stating the relevant category.

There are four categories: healthy seas, healthy people, family fun and the children's category (available to anyone under 14 years old).

Cawthron Institute Trust Board chairwoman Judene Edgar said last year an exceptional standard of entries was received in the competition.

The winning candidate, Gemma Chapman, went on to study a Diploma of Photography through the New Zealand Photography Institute, she said.

"I'm excited to see the entries for this year and grateful to have the fantastic support of so many regional businesses who have donated some fantastic prizes."

This year's prizes include a cruise with Wilsons Abel Tasman, a term of swimming lessons at the ASB Aquatic Centre and the Riverside Pool, standup paddle board tours, life jackets and equipment from R&R Sport.

Other events during Seaweek include a public lecture and teacher workshop.

Cawthron Institute scientist Dr Susie Wood will give a free public lecture on her latest research of toxic algae on Tuesday, March 5, at 6.30pm.

A teacher training workshop on aquaculture will be presented by senior scientist Kevin Heasman on Thursday, March 7, at 3.30pm.

Prebook for both the workshop and lecture. Contact Jo Thompson on 03 539 3217 or jo.thompson@

The Nelson Mail