Paddle against Plastic

On Global Recycling Day, Sunday 18th March 2018, a team of our best watermen and women from Gili Lankanfushi completed a 14km Stand Up Paddle to raise awareness about the overuse of single-use plastic. During the endurance event, the team collected all floating litter they encountered along the three-hour paddle. The majority of the haul was plastic, so our message is clear: If we can SUP 14km around our island; you can give up using single-use plastic in 2018.

At Gili Lankanfushi, we encounter a large amount of ocean plastic arriving with the tide every day. Some arrives with the current from distant countries, but a lot appears from neighboring islands and the capital Male. Despite Gili’s No Plastic Policy and the plastic recycling program we have in place with Parley, we still face a tidal wave of plastic over the year. Our team wanted to tackle this problem head on.

The event began at day break as we hit the water at 7:15am stocked up with high energy food, water and cameras. The conditions were extremely favourable with low wind, little swell and high cloud cover. The first quarter of our paddle took us against the current, so it was slow going but this allowed us to collect as much floating plastic as possible. We found the majority of marine litter in the corners of Himmafushi Harbour so we set about collecting as much as we could carry. Those working at the harbor watched us approach and a few men jumped into action and helped us collect plastic from the water. They gave us a few extra bags when we ran low. These positive reactions made our hard work feel extremely valuable.

As we turned the corner behind Himmafushi Island, we had the wind and current with us, so we completed almost six kilometres in just over an hour. Being out on the open ocean and looking down to see the fish and coral beneath our feet was a real highlight. The final paddle back to Gili was the hardest, but we were met with the smiling faces of the rest of our team.


The entire experience was a great example of perseverance and team work. It was a great success and we were able to recycle a lot of litter, yet the overwhelming feeling was that we need to do even more next time. In just three hours we collected 200 items which included 90 plastic bottles, 20 bottle tops and 5 plastic bags and this was just the plastic we happened to paddle close to; a lot has been waterlogged or broken down and is found just below the surface or on the ocean floor.
The seven-man paddling crew was made up of Beau, Tropicsurf Manager and SUP surf champion; Naseef, Ocean Paradise Dive Instructor and marine mammal magnet; Emma, Assistant Marine Biologist and official team photographer; Tula, Head of Security and pretty much the toughest guy I know; Ibrahim, Ocean Paradise Boat Captain and life saver; Clare, Marine Biologist and event organiser and Jinah, Hotelier journalist and newly inspired sustainability supporter.

Despite the obvious challenges of reducing ocean plastic, we have seen such positive reactions to our war on plastic at Gili Lankanfushi. After visiting in November 2017, the inspirational Merle Campbell kindly shared:

“For many years now, I have daily walked the beach and never picked up any litter. Since visiting Gili Lankanfushi Maldives and listening about the importance of keeping plastics out of the waterways, I now walk the beach solely for the purpose of collecting rubbish to contribute to saving our sea life.”
We hope our Paddle against Plastic will inspire others to reduce their plastic dependence by taking small steps to reduce plastic use at home or at work. If we all participate, there will be a huge reduction in the amount of plastic that enters our oceans. Well done to Gili’s Paddle Against Plastic Team and Happy Global Recycling Day to Everyone.


A special thank you to everyone who assisted us in the Paddle Against Plastic! Thanks to Ocean Paradise for the boat, equipment and crew, the culinary department for the amazing food, the Sales and Marketing department for sharing our work and getting up early to see us off, the gardening team for recycling our plastic, Shifzan for the awesome photos, and the Gili Lankanfushi Management team for their amazing support!

 

PADI’s guest blogger Clare Baranowski introduces herself:

I am a marine zoologist from the UK who has worked throughout the tropics researching mega fauna and reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. I have experience monitoring and restoring coral and surveying manta, turtle and dolphin populations. I began my career as a science communicator before moving into research and management roles, this is why I incorporate outreach and education into every project I work on and I hope to continue this at Gili Lankanfushi

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an annual worldwide movement to encourage individuals, communities, and businesses to conserve our resources. Celebrating it is a symbol of our commitment to our planet.

At Gili we celebrated Earth Hour on March 24th with the rest of the world, we hosted a Coral Conservation themed day with multiple events leading into each other. For each event, all guests and hosts were invited to attend and take part.

Our first event was a coral workshop hosted for Marine Biologists and enthusiasts. In attendance were three participants from our local island Himmafushi who have a keen interest in protecting their reef and inspiring locals. Additionally, Marine Biologists from Four Seasons Resort, Bandos Resort, Atoll Marine Centre and Hurawalhi Resort attended. Jinah, a journalist from Hotelier Maldives covered our event celebrations.

Our coral lines project launched in 2014 and currently has 190+ lines, each containing around 50 coral fragments. The aim of the project is to rehabilitate our degraded house reef through direct transplantation of mature corals and through indirect coral spawning from the nursery. The project was the first low-tech and high efficiency coral recovery project that involves rope in the Maldives.
Due to the optimal location and care that goes into the project we had 68% survival after the El Nino event and the crown of thorn starfish outbreak. Due to the success of our project, many Marine Biologists are interested in learning more as they want to launch their own projects or further their current projects in other locations. This is why we invited them to join us in celebration of Earth Hour.

 

We felt that hosting a coral conservation themed day would create a platform for a discussion on possible project improvements and new project ideas. Overtime the coral line nursery will contain heat tolerant coral species, fragmenting these species and planting lines could lead to natural spawning of more heat tolerant species which will increase survival rate in future warming events. This will lead to the creation of more healthy reefs decreasing the pressure of predation, providing a healthier habitat, refuge and nurseries for marine organisms like turtles, juvenile fish and other fish species as well as conserving a key ecological ecosystem.
On the day the visiting Marine Biologists arrived at 14:00pm and a land based presentation was carried out, topics included an in depth overview of the project, project creation, management, challenges and future plans. This was followed by a practical demonstration of making a coral line, monitoring the lines and general maintenance including cleaning and removal of invasive species. To view the coral line made by the Marine Biologists click here. To conclude there was a group discussion on possible project improvements and a question and answer session.

 

Following the success of the coral workshop together with guests, Marine Biologists and hosts we designed and created a coral shape in the sand on Library Beach. In celebration of the official Earth Hour which is between 20:30 – 21:30 we turned off none essential lights and filled the coral shape with sustainably sourced candles – coconuts and used cooking oil. During the official event our coral shape was beautifully illuminated by flickering candle lights and guests, Marine Biologists and hosts were able to enjoy this display whilst attending our Earth Hour cocktail evening.

 

To conclude our Earth Hour celebrations we hosted the documentary Chasing Coral in our Jungle cinema and Host Village. Chasing coral is a fantastic documentary about a group of divers, photographers and scientists who set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. They found that coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate and documented their discoveries and explained them in a way that is accessible to everyone.
Overall the event was a huge success with all participants learning something new and being inspired to help conserve our resources. We hope that you will join us in celebrating Earth Hour next year!

PADI’s guest blogger Emma Bell introduces herself:

I am a marine biologist and scuba diver from England. I have had the privilege of working in Greece, Seychelles and Maldives. I have worked in an aquaculture research centre where I focused on hormonal manipulation of a pelagic fish species. In addition, I have experience with coral restoration projects including frames and ropes; habitat restoration – crown of thorns, drupella and invasive plant species removal; educational activities and social media updates including blogs. I have also monitored population dynamics of bird, turtle, shark and cetacean species to aid in their conservation. I started my career working in the Maldives and I have done a round trip via Greece, England and Seychelles, I hope to increase my skills set and knowledge further whilst I am at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives.

2018 World ShootOut Winner Announced at Boot Show

World ShootOut was born in 2005 with the Eilat Red Sea ShootOut. In 2011 Producer David Pilosof initiated the first online World ShootOut competition. Each year hundreds of photographers from countries around the world take part in an annual World ShootOut competition, submitting thousands of stunning images and videos, ranging from the calm lakes of the Nordic to dramatic footage of white sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. Photographers are awarded prizes valued up to $1,000,000.

World ShootOut competition winners are announced during the Boot Show, Düsseldorf, each year and in 2018 PADI, one of the proud sponsors the competition, presented Florian Fischer from Germany, with the 1st Place Prize of $1,000.

Here is Florian’s breath taking video of the Angle of the Deep.

The Great Northern Dive Show – 17th – 18th Feb

 

great northern dive show

With January out of the way, it’s now that time of year for “The Great Northern Dive Show” this year running over the weekend of the 17th – 18th February at the Emirates Old Trafford. Lancashire County Cricket Club, The Point, Talbot Road, Manchester, M16 0PX.

The Great Northern Dive Show wide will have a variety of guest speakers including PADI Course Director’s Tracy Timperley from Academy Divers and Claire Dutton from Vivian Diving Centre.

PADI AYTC Logo

PADI’s very own Regional Training Consultant, Emily Petley-Jones, will also be presenting. Emily will be discussing diving opportunities for children. Emily’s presentation will also include information about PADI’s Approved Youth Training Scheme (AYTS). If you are interested in being an Approved Youth Training Centre and the marketing support this scheme brings, please email your PADI Regional Manager.

Along with a whole host of manufacturers who are exhibiting at the show,
there will be a great number of PADI Dive Centres who are there to support you;
Academy Divers
Blue Planet Aquarium
Coral Cay Conservation
Dive Manchester
Dive Style 
Divers Warehouse
Divewise 
Duttons Divers
H2O Divers
Robin Hood Watersports
Scuba Leeds
Techwise
Vivian Diving Centre
Wreck Finder Charters

Ruth and the team like to do things differently and will have Actors Ross Mullan and Ross O’Hennessy dressed to impress as Game of Thrones characters.

So if you are looking for something to do over the 17th – 18th February then pop along to The Great Northern Dive Show.
Saturday: 9.30am until 4.30pm
Sunday: 9.30am until 3.30pm

PADI Member Forum 2018

PADI, its global network of divers, professional members and dive centers have a responsibility to be a force for good in a constantly changing world.  To this end, PADI Member Forum 2018 promises to be truly inspiring as we share with you PADI’s vision for the future and your role in our mission to be best in and for the world.

We will look back at 2017 and then forward to a year that promises to be exciting and innovative for you and your divers.  Member Forum Topics* include:

  • 2017 Year in Review
  • New for 2018
  • PADI Standards and New Programs
  • Risk Management
  • Course Pricing
  • NEW My PADI Club
  • Project AWARE

Register Now

Attendance will count as one seminar credit. Registration is free but pre-registration is recommended.

Dates and locations are subject to change and are continuously being added, please check back frequently.

We look forward to 2018 and another year of striving to be best in and for the world.

*Topics subject to change

Take Part in the Fourth Annual PADI Women’s Dive Day on Saturday 21 July 2018

For the past three years, divers from every corner of the globe have come together for PADI Women’s Dive Day to bond over their love of the ocean and a passion for diving. This growing tradition will continue on 21 July 2018, further strengthening and supporting the female dive community through a day of fun, adventure and camaraderie.

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts hosted more than 884 events in 85 countries last year for the third annual PADI Women’s Dive Day on 15 July 2017. Since the 2015 inaugural event, the celebration has continued to gain momentum as new and experienced divers gear up for everything from high tea on the high seas to shark dives and underwater cleanups. As a result, PADI female certifications increased noticeably year over year.

This was possible thanks to the enthusiasm and participation from PADI Members around the world who got behind this initiative. Let’s do it again for 2018, only bigger. More new divers. More ambassadors for the underwater world.

Participate in PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 to strengthen and grow the female dive community, attract new women to the sports of scuba diving and freediving, and motivate existing female divers to get back in the water and continue their dive training.


Start planning your 2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day event on 21 July 2018 using these simple steps. 

  1. Decide what type of event to host. The type of event to host is completely up to you! Whether you conduct PADI Women’s Dive Day themed courses, have a family-oriented open day, host fun dives or even a girls’ night out with your divers, only your imagination limits your event.
  2. PADI Retail and Resort Members, register your event on the PADI Women’s Dive Day Event Locator. By registering your event, your dive center/resort will be included on the Event Locator at padi.com/women-dive.  To register your event, ensure you are logged into the Pros’ Site with your PADI Dive Center or Resort account (not an Individual Member account), go to ‘My Account’ page of the PADI Pros’ Site, and click on ‘Register your Women’s Dive Day event(s)’. Follow the on-screen instructions to quickly and easily add your event.
  3. PADI Professionals hosting an event not affiliated with a dive center/resort are encouraged to share their event information with their regional PADI office (PADI Americas: womendive@padi.com; PADI Asia Pacific: marketing@padi.com.au; PADI EMEA: marketing.emea@padi.com).
  4. Promote your event. Use different platforms to help get the word out about your event – email, social media, advertisements (print, online and in-store), and event calendars. Be sure to tag your social posts with #padiwomen to be part of the global conversation.
  5. Post Event Follow-Up. Follow up with all your PADI Women’s Dive Day event participants afterward. A simple “thanks for being with us” keeps divers engaged and encourages them to continue diving with you. Don’t forget to include links, telephone and a call to action. And be sure your success stories and photos with the marketing team at your PADI Regional Headquarters! Tag event photos that you post on social media with #padiwomen to feed into PADI’s social channels.

PADI Retail and Resort Members: Register your 2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day event now! 

PADI Wins TAUCHEN Award for the 20th time in 20 Years!

For the 20th consecutive year, PADI has been awarded the prestigious TAUCHEN Award for Best Diver Training Organisation. The TAUCHEN Awards are often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the Dive Industry’ and each year the highly popular German diving magazine, which focuses on dive travel, equipment and industry news, invites its readers to vote for their preferences in 17 different industry categories. PADI has been the unwavering favourite diver training organisation, taking home the coveted bronze dolphin statuette for the Best Diver Training Organisation every year, since the award’s inception.

This award is a tribute to the excellence of PADI Members around the world and the quality training they deliver every day.

This year the awards were presented on 25th January, 2018, in conjunction with the BOOT Trade Show in Düsseldorf, Germany.

“I’d like to dedicate this award to PADI Members throughout the globe and thank them for their continued support of, and loyalty to, the PADI organisation. Thank you also for your expert diver training, contribution to diver safety and outreach to the diving community. Together we are the way the world learns to dive.”

– Mark Spiers, Vice President of Training, Sales and Field Services for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

#wearepadi

Carpe Diem Maldives Introduces Coral Reef Awareness Campaign in Celebration of IYOR 2018

January 2018: Carpe Diem Maldives Pvt. Ltd. begins a 12-month social media campaign to celebrate International Year of Coral Reefs 2018.

Crystal clear waters teeming with colour and marine life surround The Maldives, making it one of the most appealing and diverse coral reef destinations in the world. The new digital campaign led by Carpe Diem Maldives promotes awareness towards the status of the destination’s coral reefs. Recreational and professional divers are invited to share their underwater images through Instagram and Facebook channels using hashtags #maldivesreefawareness #carpediemmaldives and #IYOR2018 stating information to three related Ds – dive, date and depth – on each image.

2018 was announced International Year of the Reef (IYOR – www.iyor2018.org) for the third time since 1997 by International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), an informal partnership between the Nations and organisations that strive to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world. IYOR is a global effort to increase awareness and understanding on the values and threats to coral reefs, as well as to support related conservation, research and management efforts.

Francis Staub, International Coordinator for the Year of the Reef for ICRI states, “We welcome this initiative embracing modern media and recognising public awareness as an essential element of coral reef conservation. Campaigns such as this ensure that the general public understands the value of, and the threats to coral reefs. Furthermore, the ongoing stream of images through #maldivesreefawareness on social media channels provides marine scientists and other stakeholders around the world access to real time data on coral reefs in The Maldives.”

Regularly visited dive sites across the Maldivian atolls will be captured to show the real time reef status amidst the effects of global warming, while also recording the ongoing recovery and conservation efforts being carried out by organisations such as Coral Reef CPR. At the same time, the digital campaign encourages public engagement and general awareness to the importance of coral reefs globally.

Haris Mohamed, Acting Managing Director for Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation says, “Recently awarded World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 24th annual World Travel Awards, the Maldives attracts divers from around the world to experience the beauty of our underwater marine life and reefs. This initiative by Carpe Diem Maldives highlights the conservation efforts various organisations are carrying out to ensure our reefs remain resilient and healthy for generations to come. We strongly encourage all divers to the Maldives to share their images on social media with the hashtag #maldivesreefawareness.” 

Likewise, PADI Regional Manager for The Maldives, Matt Wenger, explains “Coral reefs are among the most beautiful ecosystems on the planet and PADI works with local communities around the world to ensure that residents understand the value of their local treasure. With close to 1.2 million tourist arrivals a year to The Maldives, initiatives like Carpe Diem’s #maldivesreefawareness are so important to get the message across about the beauty of the underwater world and why we need to do everything we can to protect it. We wholeheartedly encourage all divers to participate in this simple yet effective image sharing campaign.”

The digital campaign, which will run exclusively in The Maldives until December 31st, 2018, will be promoted to guests on Carpe Diem’s liveaboard dive cruises and at the upcoming resort in Raa Atoll. Carpe Diem Cruises welcome up to 60 divers weekly across all three of their luxury liveaboard cruises. Towards the end of 2018, campaign images posted throughout the year can be submitted to a panel of professional photographers, conservationists and IYOR officials, with a chance of winning a 4-night stay in 2019 at the new resort Carpe Diem Beach Resort & Spa.

 

For more information on Carpe Diem Maldives Pvt. Ltd., please visit www.carpediemmaldives.com

DMEX 2018

Once again, PADI will be exhibiting at DMEX, taking place at Dubai Canal, Jumeirah (Dubai) from 27th February – 3rd March.

Visit the PADI stand (D-40), where the Team will be on hand to answer all your questions and show you our latest products and features. There is more exciting news coming so please keep checking this page as it will be regularly updated.

Course Promotion:

Visitors to DMEX, who sign up for a PADI course with an exhibiting PADI Dive Centre, will take part of a new exciting Prize Draw* including:

  • A Weekend at the Deepest Pool in the World, Y-40;
  • A Suunto Dive Computer (valued at €699)
  • A Scubapro Regulator (valued at €259)

*Entries close at the end of March 2018. Winners will be contacted by email address.

Member Forum:

Don’t forget to register (once open) for the Member Forum, if you’re planning to attend, that will take place the day before the start of the show at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality (Dubai). Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Date Time Seminar Location
26.02.18 19.00 – 21.30 Member Forum Emirates Academy of Hospitality

We look forward to seeing you!

Your PADI EMEA Team

EUDI 2018

Once again, PADI will be exhibiting at EUDI, taking place at BolognaFiere, Bologna Hall 36 from 2nd – 4th March 2018.

Visit the PADI stand and PADI Village (E38 – F39 D42 – E45), where the Team and our Stand Partners will be on hand to answer all your questions and show you our latest products and features. There is more exciting news coming so please keep checking this page as it will be regularly updated.

Course Promotion

Visitors to EUDI, who sign up for a PADI course with an exhibiting PADI Dive Centre, will take part of a new exciting Prize Draw* including:

  • A Weekend at the Deepest Pool in the World, Y-40;
  • A Suunto Dive Computer (valued at €699)
  • A Scubapro Regulator (valued at €259)

*Entries close at the end of March 2018. Winners will be contacted by email address.

Find out what’s on:

Over the course of the show we’ll be holding some great seminars and workshops, which we’d love you to join us for.

Date Time Seminar Location
03.03.18 14:00 – 17:30 PADI Member Forum and Awards Ceremony Sala Sinfonia
03.03.18 18.00 – 19.00 Member Social PADI Stand

Member Forum:

Don’t forget to register (once open) for the Member Forum if you’re planning to attend. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

We look forward to seeing you!

Your PADI EMEA Team