The competition awarded U.S. $35,000 in seven categories for the most "stunning" underwater photos taken around the world in 2010, according to a press statement. Judges included professional underwater photographers and magazine editors.
Recently in the U.S., lionfish have begun expanding their range up the East Coast. The fast-multiplying invasive species is venomous and voracious, sparking a federal "Eat Lionfish" campaign and environmentalist-sponsored lionfish-hunting contests, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A firstborn seahorse pops out of its father off Singer Island, Florida, in the third place picture in the "Animal Behavior" category.
The male seahorse has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies—as many as 2,000 at a time. A pregnancy lasts from 10 to 25 days, depending on the species. (Read more about seahorse fathers.)
Titled "Underwater Sadness," a photograph of a sea turtle caught in a net in the Sea of Cortez (see map) won third place in the "Environment and Conservation" category.
Six of the seven known sea turtle species are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. (See more sea turtle pictures.)
Fifteen percent of the Deep Indonesia contest's proceeds will be donated to marine-conservation efforts.
A close-up of a blue-eyed moray eel in Indonesia captured an honorable mention in the "Indonesia Residents" category. Known to grow as long as about 5 feet (1.5 meters), moray species generally lack pectoral fins, unlike most other eel species.