PADI Embraces Earth Day with Partnerships to Support Our Oceans

With Earth Day just a few days away, PADI® is building on its longstanding history of conservation by joining forces to further support two of its Four Pillars of Change: Ocean Health and Marine Animal Protection. While continuing to support Project AWARE® in its efforts to reduce marine debris and protect endangered sharks and rays, PADI is also supporting initiatives with additional organizations that are making a positive impact on the ocean planet, including the United Nations Development Programme and Mission Blue™.

Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet

Aligning with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, PADI Regional Headquarters, Members and divers around the world can increase efforts to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. Leading up to World’s Oceans Day on 8 June 2017, PADI will be joining in the #SaveOurOcean dialog initiated by the United Nations Development Programme to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. Through PADI communication channels, PADI Members and divers will be engaged in conversations to increase awareness about the importance of ocean health and its effect on the bigger sustainability agenda to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

PADI is also working with Mission BlueTM to support its efforts to protect marine areas. Sharing stories of Hope Spots – a term for special places critical to ocean health, dubbed by Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue – help identify areas that are precursors for marine protected areas. Nominating Hope Spots provides an opportunity for the PADI family and the dive industry to help reach the goal set forth by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress to protect 30 percent of our world’s oceans by 2030. In the coming months, the PADI community will share in the effort to protect more of our world’s waters by joining forces in recognizing important marine areas.

One Dive at a Time

With PADI support, Project AWARE continues its vital work to protect our ocean planet – one dive at a time. From collective action in local communities to large-scale change at the policy level, Project AWARE partners with PADI Members and divers to reduce the amount of marine debris entering our ocean to protecting the world’s most threatened species of sharks and rays. Diver support is imperative for the oceans’ future. PADI Divers are encouraged to dive into action and show their support through direct donations to Project AWARE, as well as in grassroots efforts including Dive Against Debris® and Adopt a Dive SiteTM. All dive professionals are also reminded to take advantage of Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers Action Kit.

While in the early stages of building its new corporate social responsibility program, PADI is committed to activating its members and divers in support of global efforts to improve the future of the oceans under the structure of Four Pillars of Change. By taking action to reduce marine debris, establish more marine protected areas and protect marine animals, together we can increase biodiversity and work toward sustainable management of the oceans and their resources. While this topic is top of mind on Earth Day, on 22 April 2017, PADI is committed to bringing this conversation to the forefront year-round. PADI Members and divers are driving change every day and can share their stories to inspire others to do the same. If you have a story you want to share, email fourpillarsofchange@padi.com.

Be Best. Be PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive®

Posted in Uncategorized

Project AWARE – Dive against Debris in the Canaries and Switzerland

The 4th of March 2017 – was a great day for Project AWARE in the Canary Islands and Switzerland! Two Key Accounts in my Regions organised on the same day a Project AWARE Dive against Debris with outstanding results!

 

 

Dive against Debris Crew Tenerife

One Project AWARE Dive Against Debris event happened in Tenerife in the Canary Islands and has been organised by the Big Fish Dive Center in Los Cristianos. The other event has been organised by Adventure Sports and the Dive Club Rheindive.ch from Frauenfeld & Eschenz in Switzerland.
Both Events were organised almost similar. The Event from Adventure Sports in Switzerland started the evening before with the orientation for the Project AWARE Dive against Debris course – while the event in Tenerife started in the morning of the 4th of March.

It was amazing to see how passionate the participants were involved to clean the Beach underwater in Playas las vistas In Tenerife and in the “Untersee” in Steckborn. Even more impressive was the amount of rubbish who has been removed from the Atlantic and from the Lake of Constance.

Big Fish Tenerife

Data collected:
Divers collected the following amount in Tenerife;
66 KG 

 

 

 

 

Divecorner Frauenfeld

 

 

Divers collected the following amount in Steckborn;
259 KG 

 

 

A big Thank you goes to the organizers in both Countries. Thank you Michal Motylewski and Sandro Krawinkler!

The world and our environment needs more people like you! You are an inspiration for all of us and I hope that with your example we can make a difference and animate more Dive Centres, Divers and citizens of both regions to protect our beloved environment!

 

 

 

 

Dive against Debris Crew Steckborn

How can you help to protect the ocean?

Dive Against Debris is a global marine debris survey – the only data collection effort of its kind that involves volunteer divers collecting, recording and reporting data on marine debris found on the seafloor. Marine debris is a problem that is often considered ‘out of sight – out of mind.’ By sharing data on the debris we find underwater, we’re able to contribute the underwater perspective. It’s really exciting – divers can have a powerful role to play in helping contribute data to influence marine debris policy.
So how can you get started?

1. Download our Dive Against Debris Survey Toolkit – here you’ll find the survey kit for your divers, including a certificate to award to your volunteers.
2. Add your action to our Event Map. Create your My Ocean profile and add your action to our interactive map for our dive community to see. You can also blog and upload photos or videos in My Ocean.

3
. Promote over social media, through your network and communications – don’t forget to use the following hashtags #ProjectAWARE, #DiveAgainstDebris, #MarineDebris, etc.
4. Report your data. Data is critical. Don’t let your dives go to waste. Make sure you report the data on the litter you found.
5. Share the data with your divers by showing them the Dive Against Debris Map.

 
Project AWARE ® can offer you mesh bags and a banner to advertise your action during the day. Each mesh bag comes with a donation of € 6.00. This way, Project AWARE is able to send you some other promotional materials to use during your action (leaflets, posters, stickers, badges, etc.).
Adopt a Dive Site™ is a campaign where Project AWARE launched last year on Earth Day, which basically is repeated Dive Against Debris surveys in one dive site: Project AWARE requires divers adopting a specific dive site to clean up and report data at least once a month. You can find all information on the website www.projectaware.org and if you are interested, just sign up on the website.

Start your Ocean protection today, sign up with adopt a dive site and take an example of the two Dive Centres in Switzerland and in the Canaries! Together we can make a difference and educate the coming generations!

I still believe in us humans and that we can change the current situation, but the time is ticking… Our beautiful environment is counting on you!
#myOcean #myHope

Sharks, Rays and Turtles – Your PADI Speciality with Prodivers Kuredu

Photo by Stefanie Wagner

Photo by Ray van Eeden

You got to love sharks, rays and turtles! In fact, at Kuredu Prodivers we love our residents so much that we’ve compiled everything we know about them and created two specialty courses that you should put on your must-do list: Maldivian Shark & Ray Distinctive Specialty Course, and Sea Turtle Diver Course. These two courses provide the best way for you to learn more about these incredible animals – and of course see them in their natural environment, at reefs around Kuredu.

Photo by Stefanie Wagner

Photo by Stefanie Wagner

During the Maldivian Shark and Ray course you will find out more about the incredible sensory system that sharks and rays possess, learn how to identify the different species, determine their gender and understand the mating behaviour, as well as the need for us to preserve and protect the current populations of sharks and rays. The narrow channels, where the currents flow in and out of the atoll and the deep out reefs around Kuredu are the ideal habitat to get encounters with sharks and rays.

Photo by Marek Machinia

Photo by Marek Machinia

For those of you prefer the sleepy headed sea turtles, the Sea Turtle Course will surely be of interest to you, especially since Kuredu is home to the largest known population of Green Sea Turtles in the Maldives. With over 63 identified individuals resident around the island, this makes it the perfect place to enrol in the course. It offers the chance to learn more about how turtles have adapted and evolved through their fight for survival, and you will also learn how to identify the different species and to distinguish whether they are male and female, and how they reproduce. Are you familiar with the famous Kuredu Caves, a.k.a. Turtle Airport? The course is also available to snorkelers.

Photo by Stefanie Wagner

Photo by Stefanie Wagner

The PADI Maldivian Shark & Ray Distinctive Specialty Course was developed by Prodivers to help increase the awareness about these magnificent creatures. Get in touch with us to find out more about diver qualification requirements for the courses.

Visit www.prodivers.com or drop us an email via info@prodivers.com

Prodivers-logo_263x55

PADI Pioneers: Generating Ocean Warriors in the Maldives

In a quiet corner of a luxury resort in the Maldives you’ll find an PADI Five Star IDC centre quite unlike any other.

Picture77

Teaching Maldivians to scuba dive might seem to some like selling coals to Newcastle. Wherever you stand in the Maldives, you’re always barely a stone’s throw from the ocean, and many Maldivians can swim before they can walk. Diving is in the country’s DNA.

It could come as a surprise to some then, that until the mid-2000s, there were only a handful of places offering PADI Instructor Development Courses in the country, with many aspiring instructors actually having to travel to Thailand to complete their certifications.

Founding an Institution

Luckily, this didn’t go unnoticed by Hussain ‘Sendi’ Rasheed, the Maldives’ first and only PADI Course Director and in 2006, he decided to do something about it. Working at the time as the operations manager of Holiday Island Resort & Spa, part of the Villa conglomerate, Sendi approached the company chairman – the Hon. Qasim Ibrahim – and shared his concerns about the lack of educational opportunities for local dive and water sport professionals.

Picture1

 

The conversation would not only change his own life, but would ultimately change the face of diving education in the Maldives. Convinced by the lack of Maldivian educational facilities for divers, Mr Ibrahim asked Sendi to oversee the development of an institution that would change all that. Like Sendi, he wanted to provide a space for Maldivians to become qualified leaders in the diving field. And with that, The Villa Institute of Water Sports and Hospitality was born the same year.

A Place in the Sun

Purpose-built in a quiet corner of Sun Island Resort & Spa (another Villa Hotel), the institute quickly became a hub for young dive and water sports enthusiasts hoping to make a career in the industry. With spacious student and teacher accommodation and modern classrooms overlooking a lagoon that welcomes whale sharks and manta rays to its outer reef, the establishment is enough to make any Course Director drool.

Picture4j

 

But what makes the institute really special is what it aims to achieve. Its objective? To equip a new generation of certified PADI Dive Masters and Instructors with the skills needed to become not only leaders in the field of recreational diving tourism but also trailblazers in ecological advocacy.

Expansion and Diversification

Lofty goals to say the least, but within a few short years it has managed to do just that. After a restructuring to become the founding faculty of Villa College, (now the Maldives’ leading private education provider offering courses in everything from marketing to law) and an expansion to include facilities in the capital, the reigns were handed over to Dr. Sham’aa ‘Anna’ Hameed. Under her leadership and the close involvement of Sendi, the institute is well on track to realise its vision.

Picture2

Not only does the faculty run multiple PADI Instructor Development Courses throughout the year, it now offers Certificate Three, foundation and even degree courses in marine studies that offer PADI electives as course credit.

Ocean Warriors

These courses provide students with the tools to become innovators in the field of marine studies. As a result, graduating students go on to enter the Maldivian workforce in a number of roles: as dive and water sports instructors of course, but also as researchers, marine biologists, wildlife rangers, even government environmental officials and legislators.

Picture99

What started as an initiative of affirmative action to provide quality education and training for locals has now developed into an educational model that is forward thinking on an international level. As such, they are arming a legion of self-titled ‘Ocean Warriors’ with the skills to be the next generation of environmental guardians and leaders in the Maldivian diving industry.

 

About the author: Adele Verdier-Ali is a freelance travel writer and content marketer who has been living in the Maldives for over six years. She’s a certified PADI rescue diver and when she’s not underwater, she writes about Maldivian culture and tourism. You can read more of her thoughts over on www.littlebirdjournal.com

baa-dharavandhoo-1

 

ScubaFest Cornwall

ScubaFest 2017

 

It’s time to dust off your suit and get your regulators serviced…

You are invited to Cornwall ScubaFest 2017 from

Saturday 29th April – Monday 1st May

The annual Cornwall ScubaFest event is back. For three days over the Spring Bank Holiday – Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May 2017 – scuba divers take over the Pentewan Sands Holiday Park. The event, organised and hosted by SITA (SCUBA Industries Trade Association), celebrates what great British diving is all about. A full schedule of events can be found at the ScubaFest website.

PADI EVENTS

PADI and Project AWARE will support the event, delivering a range of seminars and courses.

Saturday 29th April

PATA PADI Advanced Training Academy

PADI Advanced Training Academy

With both dry and in-water components, this programme, for PADI Pros, increases individual expertise and allows participants to network, build new friendships and learn from each other. Programme attendance also provides credit for Master Instructor and CDTC applications. (See a testimonial from previous attendees)

PADI Member Forum

2017 PADI Member Forum is an exciting, informative journey through the new, cutting-edge, educational tools in the PADI digital library. The seminar will feature a risk management presentation along with an interactive Q&A session about PADI Standards.

Sunday 30th April

Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer course

The EFR Instructor Trainer course includes online learning followed by a live knowledge development and practical element. This training enables successful applicants to offer EFR Instructor courses, making it particularly beneficial to those working at Instructor Development Centres or those involved in the IDC process.EFR

In order to apply for a space you must meeting the following criteria:

  • Be an EFR Primary / Secondary Care Instructor
  • Be an EFR Care For Children Instructor
  • Have registered at least 25 EFR students

OR

  • Have conducted at least 5 separate EFR courses

RNLI Sea Survival Instructor Specialty course

This course, released in October 2016, was developed by the RNLI, with help from PADI, in response to an RNLI survey identifying the need for divers to keep themselves safer in the sea.RNLI

The course has been created and tested within the UK, however, is completely transferrable to other diving areas or countries.  With some of the more harsh conditions we face in the UK, Ireland and parts of Europe, this course will be of great benefit to anyone teaching or diving in this part of the world.

It would be great to see you at ScubaFest. If you are interested in any of the PADI events please download and complete the registration form.

 

 

Big Business for Prodivers Maldives

Divers who signed up to join the Noon Atoll full-day trip with Kuredu Prodivers hoped to see some ‘big-stuff action’ with the locally renowned shark spot, Orimas Thila, high on their agenda. They got rather more than they bargained for…Blue Whale

On their way back, whilst on their dhoni, crossing the channel between the Noon and Lhaviyani Atolls, something big was spotted in the water – or rather something massive!

Blue Whale

In fact, they witnessed the largest creature ever to have lived on Earth – a Blue Whale! Great excitement ensued and estimates of size range from ‘huge’, 12 metres and 18 metres. Blue whales can grow to over 33 metres in length and have a heart weighing as much as a car. Their huge mouth can fit 100 people inside but, fear not, we are not on their menu; Blue Whales are filter feeders and eat krill – shrimp-like invertebrates.

Blue Whales have been around on Earth for about 54 million years and were once prolific, but in the first half of the 20th century they were almost hunted to extinction. There are now an estimated total of 10.000 – 25,000 individuals left on the planet and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List rates them as ‘endangered’. While whaling is no longer a threat, increased shipping leading to more collisions, oil spills and climate change all threaten the existence of the majestic Blue Whales. Blue Whale

 The ocean is full of surprises and, as well as the usual exciting encounters of sharks and manta rays, as you can see, every now and then something a little more unusual and unexpected turns up.

prodivers logo

 

Prodivers Manta Mania

Do you fancy a dance with these graceful giants? It is the time of the year again were diving and snorkelling in the Lhaviyani Atoll is special in itself, yet when manta rays start to regularly appear at the cleaning station, our happiness borders on mania!

Manta Ray @ Lhaviyani Atoll

Picture by Ray van Eeden, Prodivers Maldives

The place to be is one of the top 5 Prodivers sites situated in the Lhaviyani Atoll. Several Mantas frequently visit the dive site to have their bodies cleaned, and the plankton-rich areas at nearby reefs provided what appeared a tasty soup that dozens of Manta Rays satiated their hunger with.

On this magnificent spot, Manta Rays can spend hours as they hover above the reef and enjoy a beauty and well-being treatment after their bowls of plankton soup. This fantastic location offers unforgettable underwater experiences to divers and snorkelers alike.

For the best viewing pleasure, you’ll have to hop on one of our diving and snorkelling manta search boats. Join us for these breath taking moments!

  
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cR_wFpO5iI]
 

It’s Not Too Late for Sharks and Rays at CITES CoP17

CITES appeal

Threatened by unregulated international trade, nine species of devil rays, three species of thresher sharks and the silky shark are proposed for listings under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Project AWARE and partner NGOs are on the ground at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24th to October 5th to help these species receive the protections they deserve.

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

“Sadly, the possibility that one day there could essentially be no sharks or rays left in the ocean is plausible if things do not change. PADI is proud to support Project AWARE’s shark and ray conservation efforts at CITES and beyond with a $20,000 match*. Please show your support for this important cause.” Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Support shark and ray conservation with Project AWARE by making a Single Donation or better yet, elevate your commitment by making a Monthly Gift and your donation will be matched* dollar-for-dollar by PADI.

It’s also not too late to rally support from your dive students for the shark and ray proposals up for review at CITES CoP17! Download the #Divers4SharksNRays Toolkit and add your photos to Project AWARE’s #Divers4SharksNRays wall of support by sharing them on social media!

* PADI Match Giving offer valid until 7th October 2016 up to a maximum of US$20,000

Silent Auction Launches on World Tourism Day

Bidding for the annual Project AWARE silent auction is NOW OPEN! 

Project AWARE Silent Auction Prizes 2016

Launching on World Tourism Day, September 27 and running until October 22, Project AWARE is using this international celebration of tourism to raise funds for its critical ocean conservation work and remind the dive community of the importance of ecotourism and responsible travel practices.

Funds raised through the auction will go a long way toward engaging scuba divers in environmental programs and activities such as Project AWARE’s citizen science program, Dive Against Debris™, to support a return to a clean and healthy ocean. The winning bidders will be announced at the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony by adventurers, explorers and keen Project AWARE supporters Monty Halls and Andy Torbet.

Want to attend the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony? Grab your ticket today and visit http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/ProjectAWAREAuction2016  to see all the amazing prizes, scuba goodies, holidays & much more to win.

Wherever you are in the world, happy bidding and remember to make a difference for ocean protection every time you dive, travel and more!

Posted in Uncategorized

ReMember: Support Ocean Protection with your PADI Member Renewal

ReMember Ocean Protection with your PADI Member Renewal 2017The diving community, especially PADI® Professional Members play a critical role in leading ocean protection.

There are so many significant problems facing mankind, but as divers this is truly our cause. If scuba divers do not take an active role in preserving the aquatic realm, who will? – John Cronin, PADI Co-Founder

Your renewed commitment to ocean protection with your PADI Member Renewal continues to give the ocean a voice, help secure important policy advancements to keep shark and ray populations healthy and protect marine life from the onslaught of marine debris.

Project AWARE®, PADI’s environmental partner, is dedicated to providing PADI Pros like you with the tools and resources to take action, advancing the health of the ocean for future generations. Your donation supports hands-on citizen science, education and local marine conservation actions tailored for the dive community across the globe.

Go to the PADI Pros’ Site to update your credit or debit card details and add your donation* to support Project AWARE’s critical conservation work today!

* Gifts of €15/£15/20CHF or more received during PADI Member Renewals will receive a new limited edition Project AWARE silky shark mask strap pad as a special thank you for your renewed support.