This picture gallery showcases some of the year's best underwater photography as chosen by the judges of two major competitions - the Our World Under Water competition and the fourth annual Deep Indonesia International underwater photo competition. Prizes for the events were worth over $120,000 (£74,000). The two competitions attracted over 5,000 entries and winners were picked from 20 countries across the world.
"Underwater Sadness" by Ramon Dominguez - a sea turtle caught in a net in the Sea of Cortez , Mexico
A lonely diver traversing a cavernous underwater crack scooped the 2010 Deep Indonesia photography competition. The picture was taken by 45-year-old professional photographer Magnus Lundgren from Sweden as he was guided though the fissure in Thingvellir Lake , Iceland.
Stephen Holinski of Canada took Gold in the compact cameras category for his picture of a mantis shrimp with eggs.
Briton, John Hill, took the Silver award in the compact cameras category for his action-packed image taken from the heart of a school of silver coated jackfish. An amateur underwater photographer, he was diving off Sipadan Island in East Borneo, Malaysia during September 2009 as part of a year he spent travelling south-east Asia with his girlfriend, Jenny.
Other award winning pictures included a dramatic picture of a leopard seal snapping its jaws directly at the lens of Bartosz Strozynski, landing him the gold award for animal behaviour. "I was playing with the seal," said 35 year-old Bartosz from Poznan in Poland . "They are curious and they do try to test you in the water. This one saw his reflection in my lens and must have thought I was another leopard seal. So she displayed her teeth as a warning."
David Barrio, 37, from Spain won Best in Show in the Our World Underwater competition for this haunting image of his girlfriend slowly rising through a cabin of a deep sea wreck off the coast of southern Gran Canaria.
Luc Eeckhaut of Belgium won Gold in the Macro Unrestricted category for his image, "Froggy and Shrimpfish", showing a frogfish and some shrimpfish in Indonesia.
The competitions threw up other gems such as this picture by Lazaro Ruda of the United States , showing a male sea horse moments after he gave birth to his first born.
"Inner Glow" by Ross Gudgeon - a jellyfish in Ningaloo Reef , Australia .
"Thanks to Keri" by Michele Davino - a juvenile flying fish in Raja Ampat , Indonesia.
"Struggle for freedom" by Karel Bernard - herring inside a net in the Baltic Sea
"Leopard on ice" by Jonas Thormar - a leopard seal in Antarctic Peninsula.
"Multitude" by Acevedo Eduardo - schooling catfish in Indonesia.
"Hitting Sailfish" by Alexander Safonov - a sailfish attacking schooling fish in Port St Johns, South Africa.
"Untitled" by Jose Alejandro Alvarez - sweetlips in unspecified location.