Project AWARE: A Year in Review

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As we approach the end of 2014, it’s a special time for many people across the globe to celebrate. And here at Project AWARE, we’re celebrating YOU! Every day we receive messages, emails and images of the actions you’re taking to lead the fight for ocean protection in your local community. Whether you’re involved in Dive Against Debris, teaching the AWARE Shark Conservation Diver Specialty or urging increased protection for sharks and rays, your actions and passion inspire all of our staff, each and every day. Thank you.

Check out Project AWARE’s New infographic and the video below to see what your support has made possible in 2014. Thank you for all you do to protect the ocean.

From all of us at Project AWARE, Merry Christmas and Best Fishes for the New Year!

Celebrate #GivingTuesday – Give Back to the Ocean you Love

PADI is giving back to the ocean in celebration of #GivingTuesday – an international day to bring people together with a common purpose: to celebrate generosity and give thanks. To mark the beginning of the holiday season PADI will match all donations to Project AWARE up to $25,000 before 31st December.

And everyone who donates $150 or more also receives a limited edition Fourth Element t-shirt.

Fourth Element Tees

PADI’s commitment to #GivingTuesday is an industry first and we encourage all dive centres and PADI divers to give back to the ocean and make #GivingTuesday a day for our ocean planet.

The time to protect the ocean is now. www.projectaware.org/give

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PIC Online Worksheet and Project AWARE Donations

The PIC Online Worksheet (519DT) is a form designed to help dive centres and instructors collect the information needed to complete the PIC online process when certifying students. As with paper PICs, student divers have the opportunity to support Project AWARE with a donation. However processing Project AWARE donations through PIC Online is not as straight forward as with paper PICs.

PIC Online Worksheet

What is the PIC Online Worksheet and how should it be used?

The PIC Online Worksheet includes 2 sections: Part 1 is where all the information about the certification itself is entered and Part 2 is where your student personal details are captured. The form also includes a Project AWARE section where payment details can be added to support ocean conservation by choosing the AWARE limited edition version of your student certification card. Unlike the paper PIC and Project AWARE insert, the PIC Online Worksheet does not need to be returned to PADI. The worksheet is a tool for you to use to collect student information that need to be entered online as part of the PIC Online process. However, like with any forms used to collect personal data including payment details, it is important to follow best practices in how this data is handled. In practice, it means that if you use the PIC Online worksheet, it’s important to:

  • Be transparent with your students about how you intend to use their data;
  • Keep the data safe and secure at all times;
  • Ensure that the information on the form is securely discarded;

Why is the CVV number field missing?

Even though the PIC Online Worksheet is a tool for you to help you collect all the information needed to process your student certifications online, some information such as the CVV (Card Verification Value) must be collected separately from the rest of the card details due to PCI regulations. We understand this adds to the administrative burden of collecting Project AWARE donations when processing certification cards online. We know some dive centres and instructors are collecting the Project AWARE donation from their students by cash and use the stores or their personal credit card details to process the donation via the PIC Online Process. We understand that this may not be a suitable option for all instructors or dive centres.

How do I make it easy for my students to support Project AWARE?

With more and more PICs now being processed online, less certification cards are being processed with Project AWARE donations. Yet, the threats facing our oceans continue to grow. With these issues in mind, Project AWARE launched 100% AWARE – A Partner Giving Programme exclusively for PADI Members. 100% AWARE means that you can:

  • Streamline PIC Online Process – give all of your students the AWARE certification card, in one easy step. All your students receive a Project AWARE card and you no longer need to process your students’ credit card details through the PIC online process.
  • Effortlessly support ocean protection with every certification.
  • Create loyal customers who appreciate and value your commitment to conservation.
  • Partner with Project AWARE to protect the underwater world your business relies on.
  • Gain positive exposure to a movement of millions of scuba divers worldwide.

2014 Project AWARE certification card

Project AWARE relies on financial support from environmentally concerned divers to achieve its mission and work towards a return to a clean healthy ocean for us today and future generations of divers. Donations through the PADI’s certification process is critical to secure funds to support Project AWARE’s ongoing battle to protect vulnerable shark and ray species and protect marine life from the onslaught of marine debris.

Make it easy for your students to support ocean conservation and make it easy for you to show your commitment to Project AWARE. Become a 100% AWARE partner today! Go to: http://bit.ly/100PercentAWARE to download an application form.

For more information about the PIC Online Worksheet, contact Customer Services or visit the Online Processing Center in the PADI Pros’ Site to download the Step by Step Guide to PIC Online processing.

PADI Member Renewal – Renew Your Support for the Ocean!

2015 PADI Member RenewalThe PADI Member Renewal season is here! Our ocean needs your renewed support and you can help protect the ocean you love with a donation to Project AWARE.

When you make a donation of £15, €15, 20CHF or more with your PADI Member Renewal you’ll receive a limited edition Project AWARE eco mask strap as a special thank you. There’s 4 Easy Ways to Donate:

  1. Setting up Automatic Renewal for the first time? You can add your donation amount online on the PADI Auto Renewals page.
  2. If your Auto Renewal is already set up simply email your PADI Team to add the donation for you.
  3. Choose the donate option when you complete your renewal online.
  4. Complete the PADI Member Renewal 2015 Form which will be mailed directly to you.

Together, with each victory, we’re giving the ocean a voice and placing marine species on the global agenda. Your donation will help protect vulnerable sharks and rays from the biggest threat they face today – overexploitation.

With your support, Project AWARE can take every opportunity to ensure that sharks and rays will not disappear on our watch.

Ask your PADI Team to add the donation for you: [email protected]

Did you see the news about our historical win at the #CMSCoP11? All 21 shark and ray proposals have been adopted at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS CoP 11). Thanks for everything you do to make our work possible and help us achieve these significant wins for our ocean. You can read more at: http://bit.ly/CMSCoP11Success

Project AWARE is an award winning non-profit that truly appreciates your support with a commitment to efficiently using your funds for maximum marine conservation impact with innovative global programs. Thanks for renewing your support to ocean conservation as part of your 2015 PADI Member Renewal!

Historic Advances in International Shark and Ray Conservation

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FINtastic News from Project AWARE: The Voice of the Dive Community has been Heard – 21 Shark and Ray Species Listed Under Convention on Migratory Species!

On Sunday 9 November,The Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species, at their 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Quito, Ecuador (CMSCoP11), agreed to adopt all 21 shark and ray proposals.

“We are elated by the overwhelming commitment expressed by CMS Parties for safeguarding some of the world’s most imperiled shark and ray species, including the highly endangered sawfishes,” said Sonja Fordham of Shark Advocates International, a project of The Ocean Foundation. “Today’s unprecedented actions more than triple the number of shark and ray species slated for enhanced conservation initiatives.” (…)

“From hammerheads of the Galapagos to threshers in the Philippines, sharks are incredibly popular attractions for divers,” noted Ania Budziak of Project AWARE.“With increasing recognition of the economic benefits of associated tourism, divers’ voices are playing a key role in winning protections for these iconic species.” (…)

Read the Full Press Release Here

CMS listing is just the beginning – help Project AWARE continue its work. Support Project AWARE TODAY! www.projectaware.org/donateCMS2014 #SharksWithoutBorders

 

 

The South of England Marine Plans are Under Development

Governance
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The MMO licenses and regulates marine activities in the seas around England and Wales so that they’re carried out in a sustainable way. One of the tasks of the MMO is to produce marine plans to include all marine activities. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/marine-plan-areas-in-england to see the plan areas and https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/marine-planning-in-england to see the marine planning process.

The South Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans are currently being developed for the coast and seas from Folkestone to the River Dart in Devon. The MMO recently consulted stakeholders in late July. This consultation was supported by four workshops held along the south coast that were delivered in partnership with the Solent Forum, Dorset Coast Forum and Devon Maritime Forum.

More than 140 individuals representing over 100 national and local stakeholder organisations with interests in the South marine plan areas responded through the workshops and online. In January 2015 stakeholders will have another opportunity to input to the South marine plans through consultation, and a short series of workshops, on the development of options for policies.

For further information and to get involved in the consultations yourselves, visit:
https://marinedevelopments.blog.gov.uk/2014/11/06/your-views-on-the-south-plan-areas-vision-and-objectives/

Project AWARE: NEC Dive Show #DIVE2014

dive2014_image_160px_with_dates_rgbA big THANK YOU goes to all our sponsors and #DIVE2014 visitors, organizers and exhibitors for making this year’s popular dive show such a great success for ocean conservation!

One of the many highlights of #DIVE2014 was our popular Tombola. Without the amazing prizes kindly donated by many dive businesses and dive professionals, this event would not have been so successful. We particularly thank Emperor Divers MaldivesProdivers Maldives, Red Sea Diving College and Pharaoh Dive Club for their very generous prizes and invaluable support! But as we say “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” so take a look at our slideshow to see all our Tombola winners’ happy faces!

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During the fun-filled, action-packed two-day event, we called on all scuba divers and shark enthusiasts attending DIVE 2014 to add their voice to the Sharks and Rays Without Borders campaign urging decision makers to collaborate for the conservation of 21 migratory shark and ray species.Thank you for overwhelmingly responding to our call and speaking up for sharks and rays at the NEC, 25 – 26 October! Next week, we’ll represent your collective voice at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS CoP 11) held in Quito, Ecuador 3 – 9 November. Stay tuned for updates on the outcomes of this important meeting!

Project AWARE is grateful for the invaluable support given by PADI Professionals and dive industry leaders who take ocean conservation to heart! Together we can protect the ocean and its wildlife one dive show at a time and one dive at a time!

 

 

Sharks and Rays Without Borders

Project AWARE has another big opportunity to help make change for vanishing sharks and rays – one that only comes along once every three years. Every voice counts and we need yours!

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Please Take 3 Minutes of Action Today:

  • Send a Letter asking countries to work together for shark & ray protection
  • Join the Thunderclap to send a loud, unified message over social media #SharksWithoutBorders

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The Campaign: Beginning Nov 3rd, Project AWARE and partners will be in Ecuador, at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP11) representing the diver voice among representatives from 120 nations. 21 species of sharks and rays are on the agenda – including some of our favorite hammerheads, silky sharks and reef mantas.

The Issue: Varied degrees of protection exist for sharks and rays around the globe. These animals migrate – crossing many political boundaries. A hammerhead protected here, is not necessarily protected elsewhere. For these ocean travelers, international cooperation is vital.

If Successful: Our voice – the voice of the dive community – can help persuade countries to work together, implementing international agreements for their protection.

Thank you for your 3 minutes today and thank you for giving sharks and rays a voice! Be sure to find out more or make a donation to support the campaign.

Ocean Film Festival UK Tour

Ocean Film Festival Whale Shark and DiverFor two months only, scuba divers and ocean lovers in the UK can immerse themselves in the wonders of the ocean without getting wet as the International Ocean Film Festival hits UK theatres for the first time.

The festival, which originates in Australia, features a selection of the world’s most captivating ocean-themed short films and is currently being shown in 17 towns and cities across the UK including Bristol in the South West where Project AWARE will be exhibiting.

“We thoroughly enjoyed the Ocean Film Festival Australia earlier this year so we’re really excited to have another opportunity to be a conservation partner of this awe-inspiring film festival.” says Domino Albert, New Media Specialist & Manager Project AWARE UK office. “Book a ticket now and let the Ocean Film Festival UK Tour inspire you to further explore, respect, enjoy and protect our ocean.”

For information, locations and bookings, go to projectaware.org

Photo from the film “The Giant and the Fisherman

Project AWARE: Debris Month of Action is Here

Debris Month of Action

September is Project AWARE’s Debris Month of Action – a time when thousands of scuba divers around the world unite and take action against marine debris – the ocean’s silent killer. But don’t think of it as just a one-time dive to take out the trash. It’s so much more than that. With events happening around the globe this month, there are many options for you to get involved. Go to projectaware.org to find out more.