15 breathtaking images from Cairns Underwater Film Festival [gallery]

Dogs, fish and alleged mermaids will enchant the crowds when the seventh Cairns Underwater Film Festival opens its doors this weekend.

This year’s festival will feature $50,000 in prizes and a packed schedule of local and overseas talent, showcasing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and beyond. With all proceeds donated to minke whale research, the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and the marine conservation organisation Tangaroa blue, this is one event you don’t want to miss.

Here are some of our favourite shots from this year’s top entries. Enjoy!