In Depth: Dive Against Debris Specialty

Many divers are taking action to help fight marine debris. Teaching the Dive Against Debris® Distinctive Specialty is a great way to encourage your students to comprehend the global threat of marine debris and take meaningful steps to protect our oceans.

Who can teach Dive Against Debris®?
All renewed PADI instructors can apply to teach the Project AWARE®’s Dive Against Debris® Distinctive Specialty after completing a Dive Against Debris® Distinctive Specialty Instructor Course with a PADI Course Director, or by direct application.                                                                        

What do I need to be able to teach Dive Against Debris®?
You will need the Dive Against Debris® Instructor Guide and the Dive Against Debris® Specialty Course toolkit.

How can I link this with other courses?

The revised and updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course gives your students the chance to experience a Dive Against Debris® Adventure Dive – if you’re certified as an instructor in the specialty, and the student diver meets the specialty prerequisites.

If you conduct your PADI Open Water Diver course open water dives over 2 days, you may consider adding the Dive Against Debris® Distinctive Specialty as an optional dive once your students have completed their final PADI Open Water Diver Course dive.

Dive centres with a dive club, can offer the Dive Against Debris® course to club members, so they can collect debris and record their data, which may not already be monitored.

Also make sure you ask your students to choose a Project AWARE version of their PADI certification card to support a clean and healthy ocean.

 Schools and youth groups
The Dive Against Debris® course is a great opportunity to promote scuba diving to local schools and youth groups. School children will learn about the PADI Open Water Diver course, which covers various curriculum subjects including physics and physiology, and also about global conservation whilst having the opportunity to contribute to marine debris citizen science by logging their data on the Project AWARE website.

If you are not already registered as a PADI Approved Youth Centre (available for UK dive centres only) download the PADI Approved Youth Centre information pack. Send your completed PADI Approved Youth Training Centre application (located in the Appendix of the PADI Approved Youth Centre information pack) to your Regional Training Consultant su-li.wong@padi.com or emily.petley-jones@padi.com.

 

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.

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. 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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]
 

5 Tips for Pros: How to Dive Against Debris

Redsea-Divers group photoOn May 28th, RedSea-Divers and Waterworld South organised a Dive Against Debris™ survey of their local House Reef in Hurghada, Egypt. 21 divers and 11 surface support removed and reported an incredible 988 kgs of debris in just one afternoon!

The survey organisers share 5 Tips to successfully complete a Dive Against Debris™ with a group of volunteers:

Robby teaching the Dive Against Debris specialtyPlan Your Dive Against Debris

Get the Dive Against Debris Event Organizer Kit including tools to plan and promote your event.

Put Your Dive Against Debris on the Map

Announce your Dive Against Debris to the world and allow community volunteers to support your efforts. Add your event to the Action Map.

Data reporting Redsea-DiversReport All Your Dive Against Debris Data

Reporting your Dive Against Debris data is essential to fight back against marine debris. Once reported, your data will enter a global database and help support the development and implementation of policies to improve solid waste management at all levels.

The data we collected on the day shows that better (wind-safe) garbage bins could improve the local situation.

Redsea-Divers tyresShare Your Debris Story

Let others know what you’re doing to fight trash. Post images, video and share your story on My Ocean, Project AWARE’s global, online community for ocean protection. And spread the word on social media!

Stay Safe and Have Fun

The global marine debris crisis is a serious issue but rallying the diving community behind this worthwhile cause is fun! The Redsea-Divers staff provided a wonderful BBQ to end this amazing day and fun was had by all!Redsea-Divers group 2

My PADI – My Ocean – My Hope

Kuredu Prodivers became 100% AWARE Partner

Pro divers logoProdivers this week partnered with Project AWARE, a global non-profit organization, to join their growing number of 100% AWARE Partners who put ocean protection at the heart of their business. From May, 2016 Kuredu Prodivers will make a regular donation to protect the underwater world our dive business relies on.

100% AWARE is a Partner Giving Program. All student divers who complete a course with a 100% AWARE dive centre receive a Project AWARE limited edition card. It’s a great way to remind divers that the place where they learned to dive or furthered their diving education made a gift to protect the ocean on their behalf.Clean up

Kuredu Prodivers is proud to join dedicated dive centers across the world who act locally and think globally.” says Hannah Olbrich “We take pride in knowing that our donation to Project AWARE for every student diver who completes a diving course with us not only helps educate divers about ocean conservation but also supports Project AWARE’s mission to mobilize the world’s divers into a global force to protect the ocean one dive at a time.”

Kuredu Prodivers has shown dedication to ocean conservation through their participation in Project AWARE activities. Their commitment to the 100% AWARE program makes them shine as they not only lead by example but demonstrate to their students the importance of supporting ocean protection. Thank you for leading the way,” says Alex Earl, Executive Director Project AWARE Foundation.

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For additional information about Project AWARE’s 100% AWARE Partner program and to join the global movement for ocean protection, visit www.projectaware.org.

Please visit the Website of the beautiful Island of Kurdeu or visit the Prodivers Website for more information.

 

 

Adopt a Dive Site This Earth Day

Adopt a Dive SiteOn Earth Day, April 22, Project AWARE® announces its latest initiative supporting the fight against marine debris: Adopt a Dive Site™. Harnessing the unique underwater skill set of the scuba diving community, Adopt a Dive Site urges scuba diving leaders around the globe – including dive instructors, dive centres and resorts – to engage in ongoing, local protection and monitoring of our underwater playgrounds.

Adopt A Site MaterialsSeated within Project AWARE’s flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris™, Adopt a Dive Site is tailored to the global nonprofit organization’s most dedicated dive leaders: participants commit to carry-out monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, reporting types and quantities of marine debris found underwater each month from the same location. To support its community, Project AWARE will provide Adopt a Dive Site participants with a full suite of new survey tools to help implement their actions, a yearly report on the state of participants’ local dive sites and recognition tools for dive centers, resorts and leaders to share their stewardship with local customers and community.

Take your Dive Against Debris™ to the next level with Project AWARE’s new Adopt a Dive Site global campaign.  Read the full press release and Sign Up Today!

Dive Against Debris™ Now Available in More than 10 Languages

Dive Against Debris

In an effort to make Dive Against Debris™ easier for divers of all different countries and nationalities, Project AWARE® has expanded its Dive Against Debris™ resources to more than 10 different languages. You can now remove, record and report marine debris no matter where you dive or what language you speak.

Dive Against Debris New Resources

Download the new Dive Against Debris™ resources in more than 10 languages

More than just a cleanup, Dive Against Debris™ is the world’s first and only underwater marine debris survey that utilizes data collected by divers to inform policy changes leading to a measurable reduction of trash entering our oceans.

Join divers around the globe in Dive Against Debris™, Project AWARE’s flagship citizen science program that aims to reduce the negative impacts of marine debris each time we dive.

As a PADI professional, you have the skills and knowledge to make a positive impact. Now Project AWARE wants to arm you – and all divers across the globe – with the right tools and resources to put your next Dive Against Debris™ into action.

Thank you for doing your part to protect our ocean planet – one dive at a time.