Mike Veitch's photo of a whale shark suckling on a fishing net in Indonesia has won him an international photo contest.

A whale shark of a winning photo

Delta photographer Mike Veitch a winner in a UK Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Mike Veitch’s photo The Fish Trap has won first place in the World in Our Hands category at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, put on by the National Historic Museum of London, England.

Veitch, a graduate of Seaquam Secondary School and UBC, has been traveling the South Pacific for 14 years as a scuba professional, underwater photographer and adventure tour guide in Bali, Indonesia (www.underwatertribe.com).

He blogs at www.mikeveitchblog.com

Veotch has had extensive coverage of his photos in dive and travel magazines around the world and had a cover photo published in National Geographic Travel magazine.

His winning photo this year was of a sub-adult whale shark feeding from a net hanging from a fishing boat in Cenderawasih Bay, Papua, Indonesia.

“I wanted to show the whale shark actively sucking on the net – a learned behaviour,” Veitch said. “What’s not clear is whether the sharks risk becoming dependent on this food source. It shows just how powerfully humans can impact the behaviour of wild animals.”

Local fishermen don’t begrudge the whale sharks, which feed on plankton and small fish. Rather, they regard them as good luck.

This is his second submission to the contest. In 2006, he had five photos make it to the final round but placed no further.

For more about the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, visit http://bit.ly/1gaDnT0

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