Participants and Diving Safety Rules

  1. All Scuba Divers must be at least certified as independent divers under Maltese Law (CMAS 2*, PADI AOW, BSAC SD or equivalent) by a reputable diving organisation for the dive planned and for the equipment being used. Apnea Divers must show a certification card / prove CMAS Sport Licence number.
  2. Certification card (or copy) must be presented at registration online or on the technical meeting night. Expired Certifications will not be accepted + Medical Form filled by a Medical Professional certifying fitness for diving.
  3. Members of the organising team or their direct relatives/partners are not allowed to participate in competition.
  4. Registration fee is to be paid by the deadline set by the organisers.
  5. Dive Time will be for a maximum of 3 hours for each dive during the time allotted by the organisation team.
  6. Before each dive, a briefing will be given and any safety instructions given in briefing are to be automatically accepted as a rule.
  7. Only one single dive per session is allowed except for unforeseen equipment failures and as long as this does not compromise diver safety. Decision to allow second dive, within the allotted time of the competition is at organising team’s discretion. No extensions would be provided. Non-recreational diving is discouraged and is up to participant to plan and monitor his dive.
  8. Diving will be carried out in Buddy Teams. Buddies must plan similar dive profiles.
  9. If buddies separate, they must first regroup before continuing. Separation means inability to assist within less than 30 seconds in case any of the buddy team has an issue.
  10. In the case of buddy divers diving without scuba equipment (apnea / freediving), these can only dive down one at a time. Such a buddy team is to use a surface marker buoy.
  11. Divers are to remain within the boundaries of the dive site as advised in dive briefing held on site. Straying outside of the defined area entails automatic disqualification.
  12. Divers must obtain tag from the dive marshal's station and must return it immediately after each dive is over.
  13. The marine environment may not be harmed. Divers are to keep safe distance from surfaces and not rest on bottoms / walls whilst taking shots.
  14. Divers are to respect each other during the dive. Not respecting other competitors (such as by reducing visibility by disturbing the bottom, disturbing wildlife) will entail disqualification by the organising team.
  15. Divers are to instead help each other and keep a lookout for dangers to other divers or for distressed divers. Divers not able/willing to assist in rescue situations should at least call for help.
  16. Divers cannot shoot pictures for other divers. The diver’s camera must not be handed to buddies or third parties to shoot photos with. Participants must submit only their own photos.
  17. FUAM is not responsible for any injury to self or others nor loss/damage to equipment during any stage of the competition. Divers are responsible for their own safety.



 Photographic Rules and Judging - Blue Dolphin of Malta

  1. Any kind of camera may be used. Type of camera is to be marked on registration and judges may consider camera type in judging process.
  2. Only one camera may be used during each competition diving session.
  3. Card(s) in Camera must be formatted or pictures deleted before the start of the first diving competition session. Marshal has to be shown that camera memory and card are empty.
  4. First and Last Photo of the set taken during the competition diving session is to be taken with a Diving Marshals holding competitor no.
  5. The themes are Ambient/WideAngle, Macro Fish and Macro Non-Fish.
  6. Three photos from each category have to be submitted for judging.
  7. Competitors are grouped into two sections: DSLR/Bridge/Mirrorless (Seahorse Class) and Compacts (Nudibranch Class)
  8. Over and Under photos are allowed in the Ambient/Wide Angle category.
  9. Pictures must be taken at best possible resolution as the camera provides.
  10. If RAW files option is available for the type of camera, this should be enabled.
  11. EXIF Data may not be turned off and/or modified.
  12. Photos taken as a result of harassment to marine life will be disqualified at the Judges' discretion. Reports of harassment to marine life at any stage will lead to disqualification.
  13. A copy of all photos (JPEG and RAW etc.) taken during the competition dives are to be handed over to the Dive Marshals at the end of the diving session or immediately afterwards at the competition base either directly from the camera via sync cable, SD Card or WIFI. If this necessitates special software to transfer via a competitor’s device, this may be done under supervision of the marshals to ensure fairness.
  14. The Marshals will store competitor photos only until competitor contacts marshals to advise which photos will be selected for the competition. Photos will not be shared nor shown to anyone else in this period. Unselected photos will be immediately deleted from the organisers’ storage device and if requested, in the competitor’s presence.
  15. Post-processing to a minimum level is allowed as this is not an image editing competition. Post processing is to be limited to basic cropping, white balance, levels, contrast etc. Black and White is acceptable. Post processed image is to be given to organisers within the set time period for submission and Post processing effected must be declared on submission.
  16. Judges will have access to original picture and will assess if Post Processing has been excessive. Judge’s discretion will be biases towards assessing photographer’s ability of shooting underwater, rather than ability at Post Processing.
  17. Photos chosen for entry to judging are to be confirmed to the organisers by not later than 21:00 on Saturday 20th October 2018 either by email or physically to the organisers at the Hotel. Late entries are automatically disqualified.
  18. Judges’ decision is final. Every participant has to accept result of the jury.
  19. The copyright of all images will remain with the photographer but they may be reproduced by FUAM in competition related material such as press releases, FUAM Facebook/Website gallery and FUAM media related to underwater photography competitions with due credit to the photographer given.
  20. Photographs from Category Winners and Runners up may be used (without exclusivity) in marketing material by the sponsors of the event with due credit to the photographer given. Copyright remains the photographer’s.
  21. An exhibition of the photographs submitted for the competition may be held after the event. In this exhibition, photographer's photos would be displayed and due credit given to the photographer. A small bio may be requested from each competitor to accompany the photos and a link to online portfolio displayed.


Rules may be updated up to the 30th September 2018. Registered Participants will be informed of any changes in rules via email.