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Marine Life & Conservation

PADI announces new PADI AWARE Foundation and Mission Hubs

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World’s largest scuba diver organisation aims to restore ocean health and support coastal communities globally, driven by local efforts.

 As one of its first projects, PADI AWARE Foundation will launch a Community Grant Programme in 2021, providing much-needed financial resources to enable local ocean protection initiatives hosted by PADI Dive Centres and Resorts – “PADI Mission Hubs.”  To facilitate and enable localised efforts, on Tuesday, June 8, PADI will launch a PADI Conservation Activities Locator on PADI.com, empowering divers and non-divers alike to search, discover and engage in ocean conservation activities, events and courses—in and out of the water—with PADI Members across the planet.

Through their joint Blueprint for Ocean Action, PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation will work to:

  • Rid the oceans of marine debris: Reduce marine debris by 50% in targeted countries through strategic partnerships and the PADI AWARE Community Grant Programme
  • Multiply the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): Protect 30% of the ocean through partner collaboration and expansion of the Adopt a Dive® Site programme
  • Protect endangered and vulnerable marine species: Protect 20 vulnerable shark and ray species by deploying in-country conservation campaigns
  • Accelerate coral reef recovery and restoration: Restore 5% of coral reef habitats through citizen science programs and project funding for key coral reef habitats
  • Reduce and offset the carbon footprint of the diving industry: Achieve carbon neutrality across the PADI organisation’s supply chain and mobilise PADI Torchbearers to restore, protect and fund seagrass habitats to offset carbon.

“To achieve these goals, we will unite the largest network of dive centres and resorts, dive professionals, and citizen divers the world has ever seen in order to take action as PADI Torchbearers in their communities, linking local action to global impact,” adds Richardson. “The vision for the Conservation Activities Locator tool is to enable divers and other ocean enthusiasts to turn their passions into purpose and bring forward a new era of ocean stewardship and sustainability.”

For more information about the PADI AWARE Foundation, PADI Mission Hubs, or the PADI Torchbearers community and how to get involved, visit padi.com/conservation.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Whale and dolphin research expedition in the Caribbean

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The three-month whale and dolphin research expedition, Ti Whale An Nou, started May 15, 2021 and the objective is to register the number of whales, specifically sperm whales, and the routes they take in the Caribbean. The results will be used to determine what is needed to protect these large mammals. This expedition is coordinated by the Caribbean Cetacean Society and is made possible thanks to the partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL) and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA).

The name of the research project Ti Whale An Nou is a mixture of French Creole and English and it means ‘our little whales’. In the Caribbean, 33 out of the 90 known species of whales have been documented, which is more than a third of the world’s total diversity. This makes the Caribbean an essential habitat. The main objectives of this study are to assess population size, distribution, movements, social structure and vocal clans of Lesser Antilles sperm whales as well as improve knowledge on the other species. Vocal clans are social groups of whales that sound acoustically similar. The biggest threats to whales are noise from ship traffic or coastal development, pollution, hunting, and by-catch.

Migration and Numbers

The research of this expedition can make an important contribution to a better understanding of the population size and distribution of whales. Similar research has been conducted in previous years. The difference with this expedition is that the research area is extended and includes the region from Saba to Anguilla. Mammal presence and absence will be monitored in the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, around Saba, Saba Bank, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius. By comparing the results of this expedition with previously gathered data, concrete follow-up actions for the protection of the whales can be planned. This research mission receives great support by not only DCNA and WWF-NL, but from Corail Caraibes, Orange, the EDF Group Foundation, Animal Wellfare Institute, and Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique as well.

Importance for other Caribbean islands

This research will provide an understanding of the migration routes of marine mammals and therefore an opportunity to improve the protection of these animals. A stable population of whales and dolphins is an indication of healthy oceans. In healthy oceans, fish stocks are stable which is important for the fisheries and the economy on the islands. Furthermore, whales play a significant role in capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Each great whale isolates an estimated 33 tons of CO2 on average, thus playing their part in the fight against climate change.

Photo credits: Alexis Rosenfeld – all rights reserved

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Kimberley Ray, Founder and CEO of Marine Conservation Network (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Kimberley Ray, Founder and CEO of Marine Conservation Network, about her work and some of the issues around marine conservation.

As Founder and CEO of Marine Conservation Network, Kimberly started her passion for ocean and marine conservation as a teenager wanting to become a dolphin trainer. Her dad was a fisherman and took her boating nearly every weekend, and that is what motivated her to get involved with marine life and education. She received her marine biology degree and quickly realized that the oceans were under threat from plastic trash, overfishing, and lack of compassion for marine life. She initially began a company called “Sustainable Seafood Experience,” but realized more coverage and education was needed concerning the many issues involving ocean conservation.

She then incorporated MCN, Marine Conservation Network, and began a global effort to link ALL conservation organizations around the world so that knowledge can be shared and efforts in marine conservation could become more effective. She also developed a common language in her efforts to educate the general public on the issues facing our oceans, one that even the public can relate to and not just other scientists. To this end, she has implemented a new focus of a Youth Ambassador Program involving children around the world from the ages of 8–15 who are becoming actively involved in marine conservation efforts and spreading the word of this mission. A scholarship is awarded to those who stay with the program when they reach their majority and go on to college. Kimberly believes that the oceans are the lungs of the planet providing half of the oxygen we breathe, and if we kill the oceans, then we will die with it.

Find out more about Kimberley and her work at www.marineconservationnet.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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