Is Your Member Contact Information Up to Date?

Without accurate member contact information, PADI cannot reliably deliver member benefits and important standards-related information to you. Be sure to update your personal details every time your postal address, email address, phone or fax number change, and ensure that you keep your teaching location up to date.

You can view the contact information PADI currently has on file for you at any time simply by accessing the Pros area of padi.com (go to Members’ Toolbox and then click on My PADI Information to check the information). If anything is missing or inaccurate, you can easily update the information online, or if you prefer, you can contact the Customer Relations Department at your PADI Office (as listed on the site) to provide updated details. It is also important that we have your language preference on file as we will always endeavour to communicate with you in your preferred language. Where we are unable to communicate in your language of choice, we will default to English.

Why is it important to keep all personal information up to date?

  • Member benefits.

Ensures that you continue to receive all the benefits of your PADI membership, including The Undersea Journal and Training Bulletins (which are required reading for all PADI Members).

  • Region-specific information.

Allows you to access important region-specific information such as insurance requirements and information regarding local regulations pertinent to scuba diving.

  • Streamlines your communications with PADI.

Minimises any delays in processing by ensuring that any correspondence or queries relating to your membership, applications, or certifications submitted will be handled by the relevant department at the most appropriate PADI office from the outset.

  • Training hints and tips.

Updating your current contact details, including your language preference, means you will continue to receive specific regionally targeted communications, providing you with helpful training hints and tips relevant to your local teaching environment and details of upcoming training webinars such as the Training Bulletin Live, as well as information regarding the most current sales and marketing initiatives in your area.

Don’t miss out – visit the Pros’ site to check your personal contact details today!

PADI’s role in UK Heritage and Sea Use Issues

What PADI does in the background to ensure the least amount of licence burden in terms of diver access to our deeply loved wrecks and for our recreational diving activities in general.

There are thousands of wreck sites in UK Territorial Waters, caused by a long and busy history of sea-faring, inclement weather and human error. Historic England Archive alone, contains over 40,000 records of documented losses, seabed archaeological features and wreck sites. If you look at a plot of wrecks sites against a UK map, you get a hugely accurate coastal outline including major estuaries.

This provides fantastic diving opportunities but also raises issues of safety, preservation and protection, accessibility, and sustainable and respectful resource use. That’s why PADI alongside other key stakeholders (including BSAC) participates in committees, meetings and consultations with the relevant authorities both UK wide and in the devolved administrations, to best address these issues.

PADI’s role

PADI has worked hard over the years to represent the views and interests of the recreational diving community.  PADI sits on various stakeholder committees such as the Joint Nautical Archaeological Policy Committee to keep abreast of changing regulations and engages in many and varied heritage consultations and meetings to ensure our best interests are considered.  We work with the authorities (e.g. Ministry of Defence, Historic Scotland, Historic England, CADW, Crown Estates, MMO, MCA and others) to ensure diver access where possible, and to prevent (sometimes unintended) regulatory consequences that could inhibit recreational diving activities.

For example, the MMO had originally intended to make use of a lift bag a licensable activity, which some in the archaeological community had presumed would afford better protection to vulnerable historic sites.  We were able to negotiate use of a lift bag for smaller and contemporaneous objects, without the need for a licence, to ensure diver training, litter picks and recovery of diving equipment could continue without the need for a licence, whilst still maintaining the need for a licence for large scale commercial recovery or recovery of historic items.

Recently we have been working with the Crown Estate to clarify when seabed survey licences would be needed, and to ease the licence burden for recreational divers, compared to commercial operators.

 Summary

PADI advocates a look,don’t touch approach to visiting wreck sites, leaving the site in tact for others to enjoy.  We support in site preservation where possible again for future generations of divers to enjoy, and always advocate for responsible diver access, conceding that some of the most vulnerable (and unsafe, sometimes due to unexploded ordnance) sites may be off limits to us from time-to-time. Generally a licence isn’t needed to dive most of the wreck sites in the UK on a look,don’t touch basis, and licences aren’t needed for diver training activities.

For dive centres needing to place marker buoys for long periods, a self-service marine licence is available for markers placed for more than 28 days. If the marker is placed for less than 24 hours, no marine licence is needed, and for placements between 24hours and 28 days, you need to notify the MMO by completing an exemption notification form.

If you’re engaged in archaeologically activities, then you’ll need to consider a range of licencing obligations.

Here is a little reminder of just how beautiful the wreck diving  around the United Kingdom is. Located off Scotland’s Northern most tip, Orkney is home to Scapa Flow – a huge natural harbour. Here, in 1919 the entire German high sea’s fleet collectively scuttled. With 7 wrecks remaining to dive – this is one for the bucket list!

 

Building relationships with Spanish Dive Centres

Following the success of the 2017 Familiarisation Trip to the Murcia region of Spain, the Costa Brava Tourist Board contacted PADI offering to support another trip.  The Regional Managers for the UK and Political Advisor for Spain invited 8 UK Dive Centre representatives and lined up the Spanish Dive Centres ready to receive these guests.

The aim of this trip was to introduce the UK Dive Centres to the diving community in Spain and show them that it can be a great destination for long weekend dive trips, a place to complete courses and to send students when they are only completing a referral in the UK.

With a number of sheltered dive spots there is always guaranteed diving on a variety of depths and types of sites – suitable for all levels.

Over the 4 day trip the group enjoyed a number of dives, a guided tour of Girona, long lunches and a meet & greet session with around 15 Dive Centres from the Region.  During this time they received information from the local Dive Centres and Resorts showing everything they have to offer.

Each of the UK Dive Centres were very impressed and surprised by what this area of Spain has to offer and plans are already being put in place for them to run a variety of trips over there.

If you have not been on a dive trip to Spain before, maybe it is time to start exploring the diving that the Mediterranean has to offer!

For more information on running trips to this part of Spain, or any other destination please contact your Regional Manager – Emma Hewitt – [email protected] or Matt Clements – [email protected]

Divers Already Make a Difference

When you hear reports about overfishing, global climate change, coral bleaching, shark finning . . . and the list goes on . . . it’s tempting to question whether the situation is hopeless. Will we have coral reefs in 30 years? Will anything be living in the seas in 50 years?

Yes, and yes. The seas face formidable challenges, but they have formidable allies – you, me and more than 25 million other divers around the world among them. It’s not just that you and your fellow divers can make difference, but that you’re already making a difference through personal efforts like recycling, responsibly consuming only sustainable seafood, reducing our carbon footprints and campaigning to protect endangered marine animals. These are vital efforts, none of which are wasted, with millions (and growing) of divers and nondivers doing these – which is great. But, compared to some outdoor groups, divers raise the bar for environmental stewardship and leadership. Beyond the forefront of conservation and preservation, divers are at the forefront of restoration.

Did you know that, working alongside scientists, divers help grow and replace coral? Use 3D printing to create artificial structures where real coral and coral species can live? Remove debris (like plastics!) from almost every dive site? Replant mangroves, sea grasses and other vegetation vital to coral and oceanic health? Use different methods to protect and repopulate turtles, fish and other species? Gather data we need to identify and implement ongoing and new solutionsTeach kids and cultures what we’re learning and that we do make a difference so that saving and restoring the planet continues, expands and strengthens? These are not small local experiments – these are fins-on-the-ground, proven-results initiatives in action.

The truth is, we face a much bigger threat than the issues facing the seas, and it is this: loss of hope. We don’t want our heads in the sand, but let’s not lose perspective amid the doom and gloom. There are thousands of healthy coral reefs and other dive sites around the world. By staying informed, innovative and engaged, we can not only visit these, but preserve them, learn from them and leverage them to rebuild and restore.

I believe in realistic optimism and hopeful future, partly because the data support them, but also because really, we have no choice. With hopelessness comes inaction, resignation and surrender, which solve nothing. Hope anchors our souls to what’s possible, to action, and to doing what needs to be done. This isn’t Pollyanna – no one expects the global environment to be like it was in 1618 – but it can be vibrant, healthy and growing. A healthy Earth with healthy seas can be the ultimate heritage we leave our children and theirs.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

 

The poisonous pufferfish: Their true story

A floating ball of spines drifts past. This ball of spines is actually the most poisonous fish in the world and is responsible for multiple human fatalities every year. But what are the facts? Should you be worried? No!

Pufferfish are a diverse family of fish. They are found worldwide and have over 100 species. Although some species have adapted to live in brackish and freshwater the majority are encountered around the tropics and subtropical ocean waters. In the Maldives we have 5 genera and 18 species. They have a distinctive appearance with their long tapered body and large round head. These pufferfish can range from two centimetres long to almost one metre. In the Maldives the largest pufferfish is the Starry Pufferfish which grows to almost one metre and the smallest is the White-spotted Pufferfish which is around eight centimetres. Pufferfish are mostly bottom dwelling, inhabiting either reefs or sanding flats. Larvae are pelagic and a few species are completely pelagic.

In the Maldives we also have four species of porcupinefish which are in a different family to pufferfish – they belong to the Diodontidae family. They are very similar to pufferfish; the defining difference is that the porcupinefish’s body is covered in visible sharp spines that become upright when inflated. Pufferfish spines are not so visible prior to inflation. Porcupinefish in the Maldives are uncommon and are encountered individually. During the day they take shelter at depth, at night they become more active. Sometimes large porcupinefish can be found hovering around shallow reefs during the day – the reason behind this is currently unknown.

Whilst some pufferfish species have distinguishing bright markings over their bodies to show off their toxicity, for example the Saddled Pufferfish others camouflage themselves to match their surroundings. They are a scale-less fish with rough or spiky skin, beady eyes and all four teeth are fused together to form a beak. Big pufferfish use their beak to crack open and consume clams, mussels and shellfish. Smaller pufferfish prefer algae and smaller invertebrates.

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Most pufferfish are highly toxic due to containing a toxin called tetrodotoxin. The fish obtain this poison from vibrio bacteria which is found in the animals they eat, specifically from eating starfish and turban shell. Tetrodotoxin is a neurotoxin which is flavorless, odorless, heat stable and causes nerve paralysis. The location of the poison changes between species and is generally found in the liver and ovaries. To humans this poison is 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide and there is enough poison in one pufferfish to kill 30 people. Additionally there is no known antidote. It is believed that pufferfish underwent a spontaneous mutation that caused structural changes in the fish allowing them to incorporate this bacteria containing the lethal toxin in their bodies to their advantage. Sharks are the only known animal to be immune to pufferfish poison. Although the toxin will kill, current research is testing whether low doses have medical benefits. Studies show that the toxin may relieve pain particularly with cancer patients. This could be an alternative to opiate use and it has also been shown to reduce opiate withdrawal pain.

Even though it is well known that pufferfish are highly poisonous and can kill it doesn’t stop people eating them! Pufferfish is popular to eat steamed, roasted, in broth or hot pot and as sashimi. In Japan and Korea it is considered a delicacy. A pufferfish dish, called Fugu which means swell up has been eaten in Japan for over 2000 years, although during this time there have been restrictions. For example, in the 16th century Japan’s supreme war lord ordered that the eating of Fugu was illegal. This was in response to some of his troops dying after eating Fugu whilst he was rallying them to invade the Korean Peninsula. Whilst some people continued to eat Fugu in secret prohibition did not end until 1887 when Japan’s first prime minister went to a restaurant. The local fisherman had not caught anything and only Fugu was available – the prime minister was served it and he loved it. The year after this the ban was lifted in that region. Other regions shortly followed.

In Japan there are now 22 different species that have been approved to eat. To serve pufferfish the chef must have a certification. Training for this certification takes seven to ten years and includes a written examination, together with the chef being able to gut and remove the poisonous parts of the fish within 20 minutes. Two types of pufferfish are very popular: Torafugu (luxury option) and Mafugu (cheaper alternative). Typically one kilo of Torafugu costs $200USD.

The process of toxin removal has improved over time with it now being possible to completely remove the poison from the ovaries of fish. The ovaries are pickled for one year in salt and then for a further two years in rice bran. During the pickling process fermented sardine extract is poured over the ovaries to mature them. This removes the poison and delivers flavour. The science behind this process is unknown and only a few places are permitted to produce it. Additionally in some aquaculture facilities poison free pufferfish are being bred. They are bred in sterile environments where no vibrio bacteria are present. Theoretically the pufferfish should not be able to store the poison because there is no poison in their diet. These facilities are focusing their research on the liver. They have sampled 4000 fish livers over a nine year period and none of these fish were found to have the toxin. Now in special places poison free liver can be eaten and it is said to be very tasty.

The poison is a major deterrent for predators, but this is not the pufferfish’s only defense. When the pufferfish is threatened they can inflate by 40% making them harder to eat since they become a large stiff ball. For a mature fish this process takes around 15 seconds. Inflation is as a result of the fish unhinging their jaw and rapidly gulping large amounts of water (or air if the fish is out of the water) which causes their body to expand/puff up. The ability to inflate is mainly due to the pufferfish having an elastic stomach – the stomach has a special large and folded lining which allows it to expand and accommodate a large volume of air or water. The pufferfish’s skin also has collagen fibers which allows it to stretch and not break. Additionally most pufferfish lack some ribs and have no pelvis which allows them to become a ball shape. It takes the pufferfish around six hours to return to normal size and during this time they are vulnerable due to their increased size and lack of mobility. The process of puffing up is also very exhausting and can be damaging to the fish. For these reasons it is important that divers and snorkelers are respectful of pufferfish and avoid triggering their inflation by scaring or antagonizing them.

We have a variety of pufferfish that can be seen around Gili Lankanfushi. So next time you’re here grab your snorkel and camera and take a look!

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.

 

PADI Recognition of Excellence Program

We all became PADI professionals for many reasons, but one thing we all have in common is that scuba diving has the ability to change our lives for the better as well as opening up a new world to many.

It is important to us that we recognise all the hard work that our PADI Members and Dive Centres put in to ensure that PADI remains the strongest brand in diving. The ‘Recognition of Excellence’ programme acknowledges our members who are praised by their students.  Through feedback from your students, whether through a Customer Evaluation Questionnaire, an email or a telephone call, we are able to congratulate you with a Certificate of Excellence. This is a small token of appreciation for the amazing work you are doing as a PADI Professional here in the EMEA region.

As well as this, each month we select the most compelling testimonials received for both individual members and dive centres from the EMEA region for consideration in the monthly Member of the Month competition, the winner of which is chosen by a selection committee made up of key staff members from all PADI offices.  It is an amazing achievement to be nominated out of so many amazing PADI Instructors and Dive Centres throughout the EMEA region, let alone Worldwide.

Be sure to watch out for the next Member of the Month!

Dolphin encounters in the Maldives – Part 1

The Maldives is a tourist hot spot for dolphin cruises. These majestic animals are found commonly around Gili Lankanfushi and never disappoint with their impressive aerial displays and playful attitude.

The Maldives is a dream destination for wildlife seekers and ocean adventurers. The ocean temperature averages between 27 – 31°C, contains plentiful fish and has incredible visibility. This makes it an ideal location for cetaceans: whales, dolphins and porpoises. They are aptly named as the word cetacean means huge fish.


The Maldives is home to 23 out of the 85 cetaceans species globally. The most common encounters are spinner and bottlenose dolphins. The cetacean species here are very diverse; they range in size from one metre with a weight of 50kg to 30 metres and weighing over 150,000kg. The distribution of coastal dolphins is thought to rely on a number of factors including temperature, prey concentration, location, salinity, depth, tides, habitat type, type of ocean bottom and predation pressure.

The closest living relatives to cetaceans are hippos and other hooved animals like camels and pigs. They diverged from this group over 50 million years ago. The ancestor that made the leap from land to ocean is Ambulocetus which translates to running whale for it could both walk on land and swim, although it wasn’t great at either. This mammal lived in Pakistan and was around three metres in length. Its home was the brackish waters that reside in mangrove ecosystems. Over many millions of years Ambulocetus evolved into the cetaceans that we see today. The changes include the streamlining of the body, the hind limbs regressing, a decrease in hair, increases in blubber content, expansion of the hand bones into flippers, the relocation of the nostrils to the back of the head and changes to the snout.

Bottlenose dolphins:

Bottlenose dolphins are a long lived and larger species of dolphin with a length between two to four metres. Females live around 50+ years while males reach their 40’s. On the upper body they are grey in colouration whilst the underside is paler with the belly being white. Stripes can be observed from their eyes to the blow hole, older dolphins can exhibit spotting on the underside. These dolphins live in a variety of habitats including the ocean, tidal creeks, rivers, lagoons and estuaries. Bottlenose dolphins are one of the most extensively studied species of dolphins as they inhabit inshore environments making them more accessible.

The main calving period for bottlenose dolphins is late spring/summer when the water temperature is at its peak, although they can give birth year round. These dolphins have a yearlong gestation period with an interval of three years between each birth. After birth the calves remain with their mothers for three – four years, this duration is dependent on nutrition and size. These years together are critical for development of social, foraging and courtship skills. These skills can vary greatly between habitats. Weaning of calves starts after three years and within 10 months of the mother’s next pregnancy. The age at which dolphins reach sexual maturity ranges considerably. Females are considered mature between four and 13 years and males at seven to 16 years, the difference in age is dependent on geographical and environmental differences.

Different species of bottlenose dolphins travel in different pod sizes, for example one species prefers travelling in pods between five – ten individuals whilst others in pods between 25 – 100. This variability depends upon food availability, activity, time of day and number of calves. Within these dynamic groups there may be an affinity between a few of the dolphins. These associations are hierarchical and depend on individual range and habitat type. These affinities usually occur between same sexes and mothers and calves. They have been known to last many years, with one association lasting 13 years. It has been observed that females have stronger associations and a larger social network than males.


When hunting bottlenose dolphins use the entire water column and feed on a variety of prey including fish, cephalopods, eels, small rays and sharks. Foraging methods depend on habitat, number of individuals and prey type. Dolphins are known to feed individually, in small groups and can use cooperative feeding strategies including circling, herding and bubble blowing. Dolphins are intelligent hunters, for example some have learnt to follow trawlers whilst others have been observed to use sponges on their nose for protection during hunting. These dolphins can make seasonal movements in response to prey location, water temperature and predation threats.
Bottlenose dolphins share their habitat with other dolphins including spinner dolphins. It is thought that the different species are able to live together due to differences in prey requirements and social behaviours. This co-existence is seen more commonly in the tropics and around coastal islands. This could be due to the higher concentration of nutrients compared to the open ocean.

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.

PADI Programs at 2018 DEMA Show

PADI® Programs at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

PADI Social

Tuesday, 13 November – 6:00-8:00 pm
Ballroom: Paradise Pavilion North

Kick off the DEMA Show week with the PADI Social in the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Paradise Ballroom. Mingle and network with scuba industry colleagues, PADI staff and hundreds of your friends as we celebrate the year’s successes and look forward to an exciting year ahead.

Course Director Update

Tuesday, 13 November – 7:30 am-12:00 pm
Ballroom: Paradise Pavilion North

This year’s Course Director Update focuses on the all-new Instructor Development Course that’s coming soon along with PADI’s optimized digital product suite. The update reviews the revised IDC standards and curriculum including a preview of the new eLearning component and evaluation tools. It also covers the new PADI eLearning® environment, updated and expanded course offerings and the enhanced PADI Online Processing Center. The update will feature breakout sessions to cultivate interaction and engagement with colleagues and PADI Staff. Renewed, Teaching status Course Directors qualify to attend the half-day program. Topics include:

  • IDC eLearning and the Revised Curriculum
  • What’s New: PADI’s Optimized Digital Product Suite – Revitalized, Globalized and Streamlined
  • Knowledge Development Evaluation Training Workshop
  • Confined and Open Water Evaluation Training Workshop

Also at the Course Director Update, don’t miss the PADI Frequent Trainer Program award ceremony recognizing PADI Platinum Course Directors.
To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

IDC Staff Instructor Update

Friday, 16 November – 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Pavillion 1

This year’s IDC Staff Instructor Update focuses on the all-new Instructor Development Course that’s coming soon along with PADI’s optimized digital product suite. The update reviews the revised IDC and Assistant Instructor course standards and curriculum including a preview of the new eLearning component and evaluation tools. It also covers the new PADI eLearning® environment, updated and expanded course offerings and the enhanced PADI Online Processing Center. Renewed, Teaching status IDC Staff Instructors qualify to attend the half-day program. Topics include:

  • IDC eLearning and the Revised Curriculum
  • What’s New: PADI’s Optimized Digital Product Suite – Revitalized, Globalized and Streamlined
  • Knowledge Development Evaluation Training Workshop
  • Confined and Open Water Evaluation Training Workshop

To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program Orientation

Wednesday, 14 November – 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Ballroom: D and E

This half-day program introduces the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program to PADI Instructors and PADI Course Directors. If you want to learn techniques and effective approaches for teaching and supervising divers of varying abilities and physical challenges, this program is for you. Many of the concepts discussed apply to all diver training, but this focused practice will also raise your awareness and strengthen your student-centered teaching ability. Completion of this orientation results in certification as a PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program Instructor (or Instructor Trainer if you’re a PADI Course Director), once additional experience is documented. The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program qualifies you to teach two courses: PADI Adaptive Teaching Techniques Specialty course to dive leaders and the PADI Adaptive Support Diver Specialty course to divers.

To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

Emergency First Response® Instructor Trainer

Thursday, 15 November – 8:00 am-1:00 pm
Ballroom: D and E

This half-day program is open to Emergency First Response Instructors who have completed the preparatory online component and conducted at least
five Emergency First Response courses or issued at least 25 Emergency First Response course completion cards. This program includes access to online presentations, an Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer Manual (digital version), Emergency First Response Instructor Course Lesson Guides, Emergency First Response Instructor Course exam booklet and the Instructor Trainer application fee. Please bring a current or updated Emergency First Response Instructor Manual.

To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

PADI Business Academy: Google Ads Made Easy

Saturday, 4 November – 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Pavilion 4

A step-by-step interactive seminar focused on implementing Google Ad campaigns. Stay ahead of the curve by learning how to properly market your business and services with Google advertising. This seminar will focus on how to plan, prepare and implement Google AdWords and Display Ad campaigns,complemented by live demonstrations and workshops.
Note: CDTC applicants can earn three seminar credits by attending this workshop.

Early-bird registration fee:

$100 US for PADI Five Star Dive Centers and Resorts
$115 US for PADI Dive Centers, Resorts, Recreational Centers and Boats
$125 US for Individual Members
After 25 October, add $25 US

Contact Lisa Joralemon at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2552 to register.

PADI Miniseminars at the Las Vegas Convention Center is Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

By attending the “Tour the New PADI Online Processing Center” and “PADI Products, Programs and Standards” miniseminars, along with two additional presentations, you can regain Teaching status after not renewing for one to three years. To gain seminar credits toward the PADI Master Instructor rating or Course Director Training Course application, you receive one credit for every three PADI Miniseminars attended. Attendance validation is required for credit and forms will be available at the seminars.

Tour the New PADI Online Processing Center (Required for Credit)
Wednesday, 14 November – 11:00 am-12:00 pm (Room N255)
Thursday, 15 November – 3:00-4:00 pm (Room N253)
Friday, 16 November- 1:00-2:00 pm (Room N253)

This seminar will give you an in-depth tour of the new PADI Online Processing Center. PADI staff will teach you how to distribute and process digital codes, manage digital forms and answer any questions you may have.

PADI Products, Programs and Standards (Required for Credit)
Wednesday, 14 November – 2:00-3:00 pm (Room N253)
Thursday, 15 November – 10:00-11:00 am (Room N253)
Friday, 16, November – 4:00-5:00 pm (Room N253)

Discover how to leverage new products and programs to increase business, while learning about any additional standards changes that will affect your daily teaching.

Risk Management 2018: Protect Your Divers and Yourself
Wednesday, 14 November – 10:00-11:00 am (Room N253)
Thursday, 15 November – 11:00 am–12:00 pm (Room N253)
Friday, 16, November – 2:00-3:00 pm (Room N253)

Are you prepared in your ongoing efforts to avoid dive accidents? Determine how prepared you are through an analysis of real dive incidents and learn how conservative decisions provide better protection. You’ll also learn how to better manage risk in diver education programs and throughout your dive business.

CDTC Q&A: What It Takes to Become a PADI Course Director
Wednesday, 14 November –3:00-4:00 pm (Room N255)
Thursday, 15 November – 1:00-2:00 pm (Room N253)

PADI Course Director is the ultimate PADI Professional rating. Attend this miniseminar to learn how you can reach this goal and about the prerequisites, application procedures and acceptance protocols for the Course Director Training Course.

Freediving + Scuba = Huge Potential
Thursday, 15 November – 4:00-5:00 pm (Room N253)
Friday, 16 Novembe – 2:00-3:00 pm (Room N255)

The PADI Freediver program is gaining momentum and you will benefit from adding freediving to your course offerings. Hear from successful PADI Members who have integrated freediver training into their businesses and have experienced great success.

Energize Your Instructor Development Program
Thursday, 15 November – 4:00-5:00 pm (Room N255)
Friday, 16 November – 3:00-4:00 pm (Room N253)

Join the PADI Instructor Development team for a 60-minute workshop centered on building a comprehensive and successful instructor development program. Walk away with ideas to create a better customer experience and increase pro-level signups.

Sneak Peek at PADI’s Next Generation Digital Products
Wednesday, 14 November – 3:00-4:00 pm (Room N253)
Thursday, 15 November – 2:00-3:00 pm (Room N253)

Come see the next generation of eLearning digital products and take a tour of the new digital delivery platform. Find out what’s available now and what’s coming down the pike.

Marketing to Youngsters: How to Leverage a Generation to Grow Diving
Wednesday, 14 November – 11:00 am-12:00 pm (Room N253)
Thursday, 15 November – 1:00-2:00 pm (Room N255)

Did you know Millennials will outnumber Baby Boomers by 2019? Or that Generation Z represents 25 percent of the US population? This seminar will give you tips to tap into the youth market to not only grow your business but also lift the industry as a whole.

Mastering the Art of Entry-Level Conversion
Wednesday, 14 November – 4:00-5:00 pm (Room N255)
Friday, 16 November – 11:00 am-12:00 pm (Room N253)

Are you leveraging every tool or opportunity to convert new customers into new divers? Discover the top 10 best practices to increase entry-level certifications, and hear from members who have seen great success using easy-to-implement tactics.

Discover a New World of Opportunity through PADI Travel™
Wednesday, 14 November – 10:00-11:00 am (Room N255)
Friday, 16 November – 11:00 am-12:00 pm (Room N255)

Learn how to use PADI Travel offerings to increase course sales and profits. Already have a travel program? Come learn how you can get involved in the affiliate program to help supplement your travel program.

Conservation as a Business Plan
Wednesday, 14 November – 4:00-5:00 pm (Room N253)
Thursday, 15 November – 10:00-11:00 am (Room N255)

While remaining committed to safe and responsible diver education, together we can make a significant impact on key issues facing the planet by elevating environmental consciousness in all PADI Divers. Come find out how you can attract younger divers, differentiate your dive center and integrate conservation into your business plan to increase profits while preserving the ocean for future generations. Showing you how to align your business with PADI Pillars of Change and Project AWARE will be the focus of this seminar.

Leveraging PADI Tools to Increase Diver Loyalty and Retention
Wednesday, 14 November – 1:00-2:00 pm (Room N253)
Friday, 16 November – 10:00-11:00 am (Room N253)

Discover how to create lifelong divers by leveraging My PADI Club. In this seminar, you’ll learn how you can grow and advertise your business, build stronger relationships with your customers, and keep divers diving for a lifetime.

PADI Partners

Project AWARE® Specialty Workshop – Revised and Relaunched!
Thursday, 15 November – 2:00-3:00 pm (Room N255)
Friday, 16 November – 1:00 -2:00 pm (Room N255)

In this interactive workshop, you’ll discover new and exciting ways to teach the revised Project AWARE Specialty. Guided by Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet, you’ll gain practical tools and teaching tips that will make this the go-to course at your dive center or resort. Be prepared for discussion, action and sharing of ideas. You’ll walk away from this workshop ready to turn your divers into the next generation of ocean advocates.

From Swim to Scuba: How to Grow Your Business with PADI Swim School
Wednesday, 14 November – 1:00-2:00 pm (Room N255)
Thursday, 15 November – 3:00-4:00 pm (Room N255)

Learn how adding swim lessons to your business not only provides additional income and job opportunity, but also brings new swimmers, divers, families of divers and the community into your business. Whether you have a pool, rent a pool, want a pool or have an ocean available, PADI Swim School is for you!

EVE Diving Services Will Grow Your Business
Wednesday, 14 November – 2:00-3:00 pm (Room N255)
Friday, 16 November – 3:00-4:00 pm (Room N255)

Come see how the EVE Ultimate System can help you overcome the barriers of cost, time and training and show you how to implement a single, integrated approach to your store’s marketing and sales needs.

Tec Seminars in the Tec Resource Center

Breaking the Accident Chain

No one ever thinks they will have an accident when starting a dive. Accidents don’t generally occur from a single failure but are caused by a series of events the victim didn’t predict could happen. This presentation will explore the events surrounding incidents and what we can do to break the chain before we become victims ourselves.

Critical Decisions in Tec Diving

PADI Education and Content Development Executive Karl Shreeves looks at what cognitive and social sciences have to say about how we can make the right decisions when they matter most as divers, as well as avoiding common bad-decision pitfalls.

EVE Seminar Series at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

EVE Intro to Marketing

Wednesday, 14 November – 8:00-10:00 am
Pavilion 6

Research from DEMA shows that the return on investment for email marketing is $30 US earned for $1 US spent. There is no substitute for a well thought out email from your store directly into the palms of your new or returning customer. Letting them know about offers, PADI courses, trips, equipment and news is vital to increase your revenue. Learn how to take simple steps to revolutionize your interaction with your customers at key points of contact.

EVE Websites

Wednesday, 14 November – 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Pavilion 6

Discover how to make the seamless transition to a website that works for you and your customers. Get set up with more than 130 ready-to-go, high-end, customizable templates as well as a delivery platform for you to target the right customer at the right time with the right message. Come learn how these sites integrate with your marketing, schedules and your sales goals.

EVE Pro App

Thursday, 15 November – 8:00-10:00 am
Pavilion 6

Empower your instructors to drive your business with the new EVE Instructor App for iOS/Android/Web. Learn how the EVE Instructor App can directly connect to EVE in your store, which helps provide your instructors with a range of applications and tools necessary to successfully manage your business and promote your services.

New EVE Online Store

Thursday, 15 November – 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Pavilion 6

Come learn how to use the online store for eCommerce, online courses and event bookings. Learn about the EVE online store hybrid operations such as “Scuba and Swim” and “Fish and Dive,” which are easily managed with this completely new product architecture.

EVE Advanced Marketing

Friday, 16 November – 8:00-10:00 am
Pavilion 6

Keep in touch with your customers with the right message at the right time with EVE Marketing Agent. Attend this seminar to learn how to use EVE Marketing Agent to increase bookings, continuing education, dive trip sales and servicing.

EVE Ultimate

Friday, 16 November – 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Pavilion 6

Discover the complete system in which EVE Cloud hosting brings every feature and application of all of these products and services together in one place. There is a place for you and your customers, wherever they may be. Discover why EVE Synergy is the best award-winning system for the very best price.

PADI’s Room Block is Open

Book your room at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino for DEMA Show 2018, just steps away in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Call PADI Travel™ to secure the special room rate of $110 US per night* (plus tax). Pay the resort fee and you’ll receive complimentary wireless internet, access to the hotel’s fitness center, in-room safe use and free local and toll-free domestic calls.

PADI programs such as the PADI Social, Course Director Update, IDC Staff Instructor Update and Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer course will take place in the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, so you’ll be at the center of the action.

Contact PADI Travel at 800 729 7234 ext. 2539 (US and Canada) or email [email protected] to book your room today.

*Rates subject to change without notice.

Riding a Whale Shark? Outrageous and Unacceptable!

Unbelievable! Maybe you’ve seen the viral video of scuba divers in Indonesia riding a whale shark? In this day and age, someone has the nerve to do something like this? It makes me furious!

This kind of behavior is not okay for anyone, anywhere, anytime, but especially unacceptable for us divers. It’s a big deal – not just for the poor animal being mugged to exhaustion by divers amid its survival struggles (though that is a supreme part of it), but for the entire dive community. We’re supposed to be the ambassadors of the underwater world – the collective voice of care and concern that speaks up to protect our endangered seas from abuses like overfishing, plastic debris, shark finning and wide-scale pollution. Marine Animal Protection is one of PADI’s Pillars of Change, and I know the vast majority – probably more than 99.9% – of divers would never do something like this, and actively support what the dive community’s doing to protect the oceans.

But, this video paints us as hypocrites who exploit marine animals for our own entertainment – but not only that, these divers were breaking international and local laws (whale sharks have been protected by Indonesian law since 2013) that the dive community has been breaking its back to help put in place. Researchers think that whale sharks have declined 63% in the Indo-Pacific in the last 75 years, around 30% in the Atlantic, with a 50% reduction overall in the last decade. This is why IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) considers the whale shark endangered.

Whale Sharks are intelligent marine animals, seeing one suffering at the hands of joy riding scuba divers is outrageous! You should be outraged too – and I know many of you are as evidenced  by the thousands of enraged posts this video prompted and continues to prompt. I’ve noted reports that the divers (or some of them) have been arrested, and we’ll trust Indonesian law to be just. The arrests themselves show that the issue and law are taken seriously – as they should be.

Please speak up if you have not yet. The world needs to know that this isn’t us. This isn’t diving. Your voice matters – as Irish statesman Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good [people] to do nothing.” Silence is often taken as acceptance – and that cannot stand! If any nondivers you know saw the video, tell them it shows unacceptable, irresponsible behavior. Your personal contact delivering the message makes a big difference – it is a voice of authority because you’re a scuba diver, freediver or both. We can all help turn this negative incident into positive change by educating divers and nondivers about the Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism Guide jointly produced by Project AWARE, WWF and Manta Trust.

Like Dr. Seuss’ Lorax – speaking for the trees, we are divers, speaking for the seas. We are champions of our ocean planet, so let’s act like it. Please help spread the word that the diving family is a force for good in the world, and we don’t and won’t tolerate these kinds of behaviors.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

Underwater Symbiotic Relationships – Part 1

Symbiotic relationships occur when two different organisms live together. We can divide these relationships in 3 types:

Mutualism: when both individuals benefit from the relationship;

Commensalism: when only one benefits from it, while the other species is not affected;

Parasitism: when not only just one specie benefits from it but also causes harm to the other one.

We, as divers, are lucky to observe many of these underwater living arrangements. Here are just two examples:

Anemone and Clownfish

Here is a classic example of mutualism. The clownfish, also known as Nemo or anemonefish, seeks shelter in the midst of the stinging tentacles of the anemone. The anemone’s poison can paralyze other fishes but the clownfish has a thick layer of mucus and is immune to it. The anemone offers protection and a safe place for the clownfish to lay its eggs. Moreover, the clownfish also gets a little bit of food, as it eats the anemone’s dead tentacles and leftovers.

But the clownfish also has a lot to offer. It helps to scare away some predators and gets rid of parasites. Scientists say that it might even help to oxygenate the anemone as it swims through it. The fish’s excrement are full of nitrogen, which contributes to the anemone’s growth.

The anemone can also host crabs and shrimps, offering protection without getting anything in return (commensalism).

Goby and Pistol shrimp

That is a very interesting mutualistic relationship. The shrimp is almost blind, making it very hard for it to spot predators in time. In the other hand, it is a very good digger and a specialist when it comes to burrows. By contrast, the goby has an excellent eye-sight but is quite defenseless when it comes to predators. So, what a better way to survive than to combine their strengths to minimize their weaknesses?

During the day, the goby stays at the entrance of the burrow, keeping an eye out for any predators. Meanwhile, the shrimp is busy digging and improving their house. The long antenna of the shrimp is always in contact with goby’s fins. If any danger comes to sight, the goby flicks his tail in a certain way and the shrimp quickly goes back inside. If the predator gets any closer, the goby also retreats to the safety of his burrow.

When night comes, the pair goes back inside their shelter. The shrimp closes the entrance with pebbles to guarantee a good night’s sleep.

Do you want to find out more about other symbiotic relationships? Read blog part two, next week.

 

Guest Blogger at Ocean Dimensions

Diving and snorkelling in the Maldives is like no other place on Earth. Located at the incredible Kihaa Maldives Resort, Ocean Dimensions offers a range of courses and activities to allow novice and seasoned pros the chance to experience the wonders of the Indian Ocean.

With over 20 years in the Maldives, the Ocean Dimensions team not only offers its experience, but also its passion to those who would like to share and enjoy the waters around Kihaa and the world famous Baa Atoll, a Unesco World Biosphere Reserve.

Kihaa is the closest resort in the Maldives to Hanifaru Bay, a unique protected area that offers the chance to swim with manta rays and whalesharks as they come to the area to feed.

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