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Marine Life & Conservation

PADI AWARE’s ‘Adopt the Blue’ Programme to protect 30% of the Ocean by 2030

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PADI® and PADI AWARE Foundation have launched an ambitious new initiative to establish the world’s largest network of conservation sites aimed at safeguarding ocean habitats and species threatened with extinction. Managed by the PADI AWARE Foundation, Adopt The Blue™ will activate a global network of dive sites across the planet to establish more Marine Protected Areas with the support of PADI Members, divers, and ocean torchbearers.

Over the next decade, the Adopt The Blue programme will serve as the connective tissue to drive forward PADI’s Blueprint For Ocean Action, the organisation’s roadmap that underpins all local conservation efforts on marine debris, protection of vulnerable species, restoration of coral reef systems and tackling climate change. These local actions, when replicated and scaled up, will truly help drive global impact.

“Our goal is to create 10,000 Adopt The Blue sites by 2025, working with local communities and PADI operators to accelerate local conservation efforts where they are most needed, and to actively contribute towards protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030,” says Danna Moore, Director of PADI AWARE Foundation.

Since the launch on World Oceans Day this month, 301 sites have been adopted covering a total area of 3159742652m².

Adopt The Blue is supported by PADI MPA Programme founding partner Blancpain, who shares a rich history rooted in the exploration and preservation of the world’s oceans. Together, PADI and Blancpain are committed to establishing the largest inventory of Marine Protected Areas in the world.

PADI’s Mission Hubs are at the heart of Adopt The Blue – the 6,600 dive centres and resorts and more than 128,000 professional members worldwide who will serve as the backbone for the programme’s global footprint, providing unprecedented scale and unmatched potential for participants to take direct action that will drive measurable conservation impact at the local level – all tied to the global commitment to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030.

“Over the years we have been consistently amazed by the passion and readiness of the diving community to take action where and when it’s needed. With the scale and support of our mission hubs, divers and ocean torchbearers will be able to help countries meet their ocean conservation commitments as well as driving forward the creation of coastal MPAs,” continues Moore. “This global collective effort of meaningful action at local levels will help us move the needle on the most urgent conservation issues facing our blue planet.”

The programme does not require Adopt The Blue sites to be diveable, meaning PADI Members can identify any underwater site anywhere in the world that is important to them. These sites could contain an iconic habitat or species, such as mangroves, shallow water seagrass beds, nursery sites, or breeding grounds; even sites that are of particular economic benefit to local communities – as they all contribute to PADI’s overall vision to restore balance between humanity and the ocean. Once the sites are adopted and listed on the Adopt The Blue platform, PADI AWARE Foundation will coordinate the appropriate local, regional and national conservation efforts.

To join the network, visit www.padi.com/aware/AdoptTheBlue/Join.

Marine Life & Conservation

Leading UK-based shark conservation charity, the Shark Trust, is delighted to announce tour operator Diverse Travel as a Corporate Patron

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Corporate Patrons provide a valuable boost to the work of The Shark Trust. The Trust team works globally to safeguard the future of sharks, and their close cousins, the skates and rays, engaging with a global network of scientists, policymakers, conservation professionals, businesses and supporters to further shark conservation.

Specialist tour operator Diverse Travel has operated since 2014 and is committed to offering its guests high quality, sustainable scuba diving holidays worldwide. Working together with the Shark Trust will enable both organisations to widen engagement and encourage divers and snorkellers to actively get involved in shark conservation.

Sharks are truly at the heart of every diver and at Diverse Travel, we absolutely share that passion. There is nothing like seeing a shark in the wild – it’s a moment that stays with you forever!” says Holly Bredin, Sales & Marketing Manager, Diverse Travel.

We’re delighted to celebrate our 10th year of business by becoming a Corporate Patron of the Shark Trust. This is an exciting partnership for Diverse and our guests. We will be donating on behalf of every person who books a holiday with us to contribute towards their vital shark conservation initiatives around the world. We will also be working together with the Trust to inspire divers, snorkellers and other travellers to take an active role – at home and abroad – in citizen science projects and other activities.”

Paul Cox, CEO of The Shark Trust, said:

It’s an exciting partnership and we’re thrilled to be working with Diverse Travel to enable more divers and travellers to get involved with sharks and shark conservation. Sharks face considerable conservation challenges but, through collaboration and collective action, we can secure a brighter future for sharks and their ocean home. This new partnership takes us one more valuable step towards that goal.”

For more information about the Shark Trust visit their website here.

For more about Diverse Travel click here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust Asks Divers to help with Shark Sightings this Global Citizen Science Month

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Whether you are stuck for ideas of what to do with the kids or are off on the dive trip of your dreams. You can get involved in Citizen Science Month and help the Shark Trust by providing vital data about sharks are rays both close to home and further afield.

In addition to reporting the sharks and rays you see on your dives, the eggcases you find on the beach, the Shark Trust is looking for some specific data from divers who are asked to report any Oceanic Whitetip and Basking Sharks.

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks

The Shark Trust are looking specifically for Oceanic Whitetip Shark sightings over the coming weeks and months. So, if you are diving anywhere in the world, please report your sightings via the website or app.

Website: https://recording.sharktrust.org/

App: Search The Shark Trust in your app store

The Oceanic Whitetip. Known for their incredibly long dorsal and pectoral fins, this species was once the most abundant oceanic-pelagic species of shark on the planet.

Large and stocky, they are grey or brown above, and white below and famous for their huge rounded first dorsal fin and paddle-like pectoral fins. The fins also highly prized within the shark fin trade. Whilst they are mostly solitary, Oceanic Whitetips do occasionally hunt in groups.

An inquisitive species, they were easy prey for fisheries. Combined with their low reproductive rate, they were inevitably at high risk of population depletion. And declines of up to 99% have been reported in certain sea areas. They are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Redlist (2019).

Conservation efforts to discourage further declines include listing on CITES Appendix II and CMS Appendix I. They’re also the only species prohibited from take by all the Tuna RFMOs (Regional Fisheries Management Organisations). However, these measures do not mean that Oceanic Whitetips are not still caught – whether targeted or as bycatch – in some parts of the world. With populations declining at such a high rate, effective implementation of management measures is essential to ensure that the species can recover.

If you are lucky enough to get an image of an Oceanic Whitetip and you record your sighting on the Shark Trust app or website YOU CAN WIN! All images submitted with sightings, that also give consent to use in conservation messaging, will be in with a chance to win an Oceanic Whitetip T-shirt and mug. The competition will run until the end of “Shark Month” in July – so keep those sightings (and images) coming in.

Basking Sharks

Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) season is upon us, and the Shark Trust is asking everyone to keep an eye out for these majestic giants over the summer months. If you see any, you can record your sighting to the Basking Shark Sightings database.

Each year, these mighty fish return to British waters to feed on plankton. You may see one, (or a few if you’re really lucky) from around April-October. They can be seen feeding at the surface of the water, where they look like they’re basking in the sun. Thus, their name!

Sighting hotspots around the British Isles include southwest England, Isle of Man, north coast of Ireland, and western Scotland. The Sea of the Hebrides is the most prolific sightings area in Scotland, but they have been spotted all around the coast and have even ventured into some of the sea lochs. The Shark Trust has received thousands of sightings since the Basking Shark project began, but more data is needed to truly understand what is going on with population numbers and distribution. You can help by recording your sightings this summer.

Great Eggcase Hunt

The Shark Trust has an Easter Egg Hunt with a difference for you to try. Take part in the Great Eggcase Hunt and get involved with a big citizen science project that helps shark, ray and skate conservation. And it’s an enjoyable activity for all the family.

The Shark Trust also want snorkellers and divers to record their underwater eggcase findings. Underwater records help pinpoint exactly where sharks and skates are laying their eggs and can help link to beach records. Learning the depth and substrate that they lay on also helps better understand the species.

Find out more: https://www.sharktrust.org/great-eggcase-hunt

Whether you are diving, snorkelling or exploring on the beach you can take part in Citizen Science Month and get actively involved in shark and ray conservation. Find out more: www.sharktrust.org

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