The Ocean Agency together with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission announced today the official launch of the Ocean Image Bank, an online library of thousands of powerful ocean images that have been made freely available for download and use. The imagery collection has been developed specifically to support the objectives of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the ‘Ocean Decade’) and has been endorsed as one of the official contributions to the Decade.
The Ocean Image Bank is designed for use by the media, educators, creators, communicators, and anyone else looking to support the Ocean Decade by helping raise awareness about the ocean and its importance as well as inspiring greater support for ocean science and conservation action.
“Accessing affordable media-quality ocean imagery has been a major challenge for communicators that has limited both the intensity of media coverage and the convincing power of communications about the ocean for many years. It is one of the reasons why there remains a widespread lack of understanding about the importance of the ocean and the seriousness of ocean issues. It has also contributed towards the chronic lack of support for ocean science and conservation action that the Ocean Decade is suffering,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s IOC in charge of global coordination for the Ocean Decade.
The Ocean Image Bank was created by The Ocean Agency – the nonprofit, famous for taking Google Street View underwater and revealing the impacts of climate change on the ocean in the Netflix Original Documentary Chasing Coral.
“People say that an image is worth a thousand words, but in ocean conservation, an image can be far more valuable than that. Some of our individual images, that reveal what’s happening in the ocean, have helped generate media coverage that’s been valued at well over a million dollars for each image, educating an audience in the billions. That’s why we are making the imagery even more accessible.” said Richard Vevers, Founder of The Ocean Agency.
Over 100 of the world’s top ocean photographers have generously supported the initiative - providing stunning and powerful imagery that is being made available alongside The Ocean Agency’s own imagery taken during their Underwater Street View and Chasing Coral expeditions.
The imagery covers a wide range of ocean subjects and issues ranging from coral reefs to mangroves, to life in the high seas. Additional imagery as well as creative communication and inspiration toolkits will be added to the Ocean Image Bank over the coming months and throughout the Ocean Decade. The Ocean Image Bank was funded by the Lemonade Insurance GiveBack programme.
Media are encouraged to showcase galleries of the image to help raise awareness of the ocean and the importance of the Ocean Decade 2021-2030.