Connect with us

Marine Life & Conservation

PADI AWARE announces first recipients of 2022 Mission Hub Community Grant Programme



PADI AWARE Foundation™ has announced the first recipients of its 2022 Mission Hub Community Grant Programme and began accepting the next round of applications to protect our blue planet.

From giant kelp rehabilitation to the protection of vulnerable sea turtle species, sixteen community initiatives around the planet were selected, fueling both local and global ocean change. Additionally, PADI AWARE™ has dedicated nearly one-quarter of its public funds to fund additional recipients this year with a goal to substantially increase funding in the next two to five years.

“We are thrilled to launch this new fund that directly supports community-based ocean conservation projects. There are so many PADI Dive Centres and NGOs driving meaningful local action, often with little or no funding support,” says Danna Moore, PADI AWARE Foundation’s Global Director. “To help ensure these efforts succeed, PADI AWARE is committing 24% of our donations this year to the Community Grant Programme, with a goal of reaching $1million USD in funding by 2024.”

LOVE for the ocean is our drive to work in marine conservation. Gili Matra Reserve – Indonesia

PADI AWARE Community Grants are awarded to ocean protection initiatives and projects in direct support of PADI’s Blueprint for Ocean Action and the United Nations Decade of Science for Sustainable Development, in five distinct categories: coral restoration, developing Marine Protected Areas, eliminating marine debris, reducing the effects of climate change, and protecting species threatened with extinction like sharks and turtles.

PADI joins PADI AWARE in celebrating the following initiatives, welcoming them into the 2022 Mission Hub Community Grant Programme:

Category: Coral Restoration (6 Funded Projects)

Ready to deploy the first hex domes in the Gili Matra Reserve – Gili Islands Indonesia

Coral Catch / Gili Shark Conservation: To provide 20 scholarships to local Indonesian women to receive training and education in conservation and coral restoration, enabling them to grow and plant corals, and restoring the reef in the Gili Matra Reserve.

Reef Renewal Foundation: To expand local community involvement in Curacao to increase coral restoration initiatives by providing supplies, tools and training for two dive shops (Scubacao and Goby Divers) to run successful, long-term coral restoration projects.

Dodo Reef Restoration / Dodo Divers LTD: To support the restoration of 10,000 sqm of degraded reef by transplanting cultivated coral colonies over a 4 year period.

Coral Reef Restoration in Natewa Bay / Ocean Ventures Fiji: To install coral nurseries in two different reef structures and communities in Natewa Bay.

Coral Restoration / Big Bubble Dive Resort: To replant native coral species through citizen science in Chalok Bay, Koh Tao.

Nusa Islands Restoration Project / Blue Corner Dive: To restore coral in a degraded reef flat and slope to stabilise rubble substrate and stimulate coral recovery along the northern coastline of Penida Island.

Category: Vulnerable Species Protection (3 Funded Projects)

Photo: Neil Garrick-Maidment, The Seahorse Trust

Bubbles Turtles & Reef Conservation Project / Bubbles Dive Resort: To protect a local turtle nesting site in Perhentian Besar, Terengganu, Malaysia by providing community training and beach patrols, while changing behaviors through education and presentations to local schools and groups to reduce turtle egg consumption.

Aqualife Conservancy: To save the threatened shark-like ray species in Ghana through assessments that include landing surveys, field studies and interviews to gather data that will drive the design of short and medium-term conservation strategies including the development of a locally-managed coastal protected area to safeguard these rays and their critical ecosystem.

The Seahorse Trust: To discover, identify and monitor two marine seahorse species found in Maltese waters: Spiny Seahorse and Short Snouted Seahorse, providing the baseline data needed to protect them by analyzing habitat, pollution and other disturbances versus population density.

Category: Climate Change (2 Funded Projects)

Giant Kelp Forest Restoration / Aquarius Dive Shop: to protect California’s threatened kelp forests by testing rehabilitation and protection methods – including the removal of invasive species – as well as replanting and growing new kelp.

Posidonia Restoration / Kosamare: Year one of a three-year phased project to scientifically monitor and report on the Posidonia habitat, install permanent moorings and restore the marine habitat.

Category: Marine Protected Areas (2 Funded Projects)

Bull Sharks – SRMR Rehabilitation / Beqa Adventure Divers

SRMR Rehabilitation / Beqa Adventure Divers: To assess the degradation of Shark Reef Marine Reserve through biodiversity assessments and fish counts and bolster ecosystem health through both coral restoration and restoration of the giant clam population.

Save the Red Coral Reefs / 7 Perle A.S.D.:  To establish a biological monitoring programme to protect a delicate habitat that includes seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean through seabed surveys at multiple depths, determining the extent a habitat can be protected from intensive fishing pressure.

Category: Marine Debris (3 Funded Projects)

No Trash Left Behind/ Florida Keys Dive Center: To unite the community around diving with a purpose and decrease marine debris found at local dive sites.

Seattle Dive Tours: To successfully remove the growing amount of debris from the Des Moines Marina.

Project by AquaMarine Diving Bali: To further the work of the Blue Project which provides educational programmes for local schools, coral restoration coverages, turtle and mangrove conservation, and Dive Against Debris.

“Everyone, everywhere can make a positive difference and together, create a healthy ocean for all. Whoever you are, from individuals to communities, business to government, the time to change is now,” says Rose Huizenga – co-founder of Gili Shark Conservation and founder of Coral Catch. “Thanks to the PADI AWARE Mission Hub Community Grant Programme, we are one step closer to achieving our goal of offering 20 local women a coral restoration scholarship and doing just that.”

Throughout the coming year, PADI AWARE will be sharing success stories from the field, providing the world with a much-needed dose of ocean hope, as well as real examples of how the efforts of a few can result in global, positive ocean change.

The grant programme is open to all PADI Dive Centres around the world and to locally based NGOs and charities working on marine conservation issues with an operating budget below US$1 million.

PADI AWARE is currently accepting new proposals for funding, with a deadline of Earth Day, April 22, 2022. To learn more and apply, visit

Header Image: Neil Garrick-Maidment, The Seahorse Trust

Marine Life & Conservation

Reef-World launches Green Fins Japan!



The Reef-World Foundation, the Onna Village Diving Association, the local government, and Oceana are delighted to announce that Japan is now the 14th country globally to implement the Green Fins initiative – a UN Environment Programme initiative. Onna Village in Okinawa is the first Japanese tourist destination to adopt Green Fins environmental standards to reduce the threats associated with diving and snorkelling on the marine environment.

Green Fins is piloted in Onna Village, Okinawa prefecture, an area renowned for its marine sports and has been working to protect its reefs for many years. Green Fins is implemented as part of the national Sustainable Development Goals project, which aims to manage and illustrate to the local industry how sustainable tourism can play a role in reef conservation. The economic benefits of the reefs benefit not only the fisheries industry but also the tourism industry as it has rocketed in recent decades.

If the project is successful – proving the value of sustainable tourism – the model has the potential to be escalated to a national level. A wide rollout would allow Reef-World to focus on uptake and expansion into other marine tourism and biodiversity hotspots across Japan. Green Fins implementation in Japan would provide practical solutions to many of the common problems faced in the area. It would also help to promote high standards for diving in the country. Improving the quality of the diving industry through Green Fins would demonstrate the added value of Onna Village’s tourism product. This, in turn, will encourage tourists to spend more time and money diving in the region.

Following a week of training by Reef-World (23 to 28 May 2022), Japan now has a national Green Fins team comprised of four fully certified Green Fins Assessors and two Green Fins Coordinators from Oceana and the local government. They will be responsible for recruiting, assessing, training and certifying dive and snorkel operators to become Green Fins members in the country. This involves providing training about the ecology and threats to coral reefs, simple and local everyday solutions to these threats and Green Fins’ environmental standards to dive and snorkel operators. Green Fins membership will help marine tourism operators improve their sustainability and prove they are working hard to follow environmental best practices as a way of attracting eco-minded tourists.

James Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We are really excited to finally introduce Green Fins in Japan. We have been planning this for almost three years, but the travel restrictions related to the pandemic hindered progress. The diving industry in Okinawa and the marine life upon which it has been built is so unique, it must be preserved for generations to come. The Okinawa diving community is very passionate about protecting their marine environment, and Green Fins has given them an opportunity to collectively work to reduce their environmental impact and pursue exemplary environmental standards.”

Diving and snorkelling related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or plastic debris and the effects of climate change. Based on robust individual assessments, the Green Fins initiative helps identify and mitigate these risks by providing environmental consultation and support to dive and snorkel operators. Through Green Fins implementation in Japan, Reef-World aims to reduce negative environmental impacts in the region by reaching 10 marine tourism operators, training 50 dive guides and raising awareness of sustainability best practices among 10,000 tourists in the first year.

Yuta Kawamoto, CEO of Oceana, said: “Green Fins will help to unify all the conservation efforts in Okinawa by applying the guidelines in many areas and raising tourists awareness. We hope this will increase the sustainable value in the diving industry and in turn increase the diving standards in the country.”

Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative, internationally coordinated by The Reef-World Foundation, which aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry. Green Fins provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance.

To date, four dive operators in Onna Village have joined the global network of 600+ trained and assessed Green Fins members. These are: Benthos Divers, Okinawa Diving Center, Arch Angel and Pink Marlin Club. There has also been significant interest from other operators, even those that are not located in Onna Village, for Green Fins training and assessment.

Suika Tsumita from Oceana said: “Green Fins serve as an important tool for local diving communities to move towards a more sustainable use of their dive sites; so that they can maintain their scenic beauty and biological richness to provide livelihoods for many generations to come.”

For more information, please visit or Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up for Green Fins can find the membership application form at:

Dive and snorkel operators in Japan interested in signing up to be Green Fins members can contact the Green Fins Japan team at

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Dan Abbott of Save The Med Foundation



Gemma and Ian chat to Dan Abbott.  Dan works at Save The Med Foundation.  He is incredibly passionate about marine conservation, underwater filmmaking, drones and helping people understand the world of sharks. It’s probably safe to say sharks are his main passion, and he has spent the last five years traveling around the world filming various species including great white sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks.

Have a listen here:

Find out more here:

Find more podcast episodes and information at the new  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!


Save up to 1/3 off a trip to Indonesia! Your chance to dive Bali, Komodo and Raja Ampat aboard the NEW luxury MY Emperor Harmoni for less! Launching in September 2022. Emperor Harmoni is Emperor Divers Indonesia’s brand new liveaboard. Built of Sulawesi Ironwood and offering a truly new experience to liveaboard holidays, experience a true sense of sailing the Indonesian seas in freedom, style, comfort and confidence with her two engines. Enjoy spacious diving and relaxation areas or relax with a massage on deck. Example price based on Bali departure to Komodo WAS £2900 / NOW from just £1995* per person based on sharing a twin luxury cabin including: 1 night in Bali before the boat departure with airport transfers One way flight from Labuan Bajo to Bali after the liveaboard with 20kgs baggage 7 nights onboard MY Emperor Harmoni with 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea & coffee All diving with guide, cylinders & weights, Marine Park & Port Fees Free Nitrox 1 cocktail party on a local island (weather allowing) Return airport transfers * Price excludes international flights, these can be quoted at the time of reservation Booking deadline: Subject to availability. Other Dates available - book before 30 September! Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email More Less

Instagram Feed