Alex Mustard - Rig Diver


A Brandt’s cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) hunts for a meal in a school of Pacific chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus), beneath an oil rig. I was drawn to this story because of the paradox. We don’t usually think of oil rigs as being positive for nature, but these rigs at least, give the inhabitants in the ocean a break from commercial fishing (no fishing is allowed near the rigs). As a result, wildlife is able to thrive and I was able to photograph the natural food chain in action. So despite the unusual setting, I find this a hopeful image. One that shows us how rich the oceans can be when, should be, when we give them space to breath. If only we could protect more.

Eureka Rig, Los Angeles, California, United States of America. North East Pacific Ocean.

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