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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

Statement from Captain Paul Watson on his resignation from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA)

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It is with great relief that as of July 27th, 2022, I have ceased my employment and cut all ties with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA).

Since 1977, when I founded Sea Shepherd nearly a half century ago, I have dedicated my entire life to the aggressive and determined preservation and protection of biodiversity of marine life and our ocean.

Over the last few years, I have been slowly marginalized from the organization that I created in the USA. I was removed from the Board of Directors, my advice ignored, my close associates terminated and directors that supported me were removed. I was reduced to being a paid figurehead, denied the freedom to organize campaigns and the freedom to express the strong opinions that I have held for decades, opinions and campaigns that have shaped what Sea Shepherd has become and continues to be outside the borders of the United States.

As I said in the documentary movie Watson, my role is to rock the boat, to make waves, to provoke people to think about the damage we are collectively inflicting upon diversity and interdependence of life in the ocean.

The current Board seeks to turn our vessels away from confronting illegal poachers that prey on endangered species and instead seeks to turn our fleet into non-controversial research vessels. Research has always been a part of Sea Shepherd efforts, but it has not and should not be our priority. What we have provided is a unique function: a fearless leadership to intervene against poachers on the high seas, to document and to stop illegal acts that would otherwise go unnoticed and unchallenged. Sea Shepherd has always, and must always go where others fear to go, to say the things that must be said and to tackle the obstacles fearlessly and with great resolve.

The new direction that the present Board of Sea Shepherd USA has decided upon is not a path that I can in good conscience support nor participate in. I have not changed my objectives or resolve, and I refuse to change and adopt an approach that diminishes the incredible movement that we have created over the last four and a half decades, a movement that continues to grow outside the borders of the United States.

I remain a director of Sea Shepherd Global, and I remain a supporter of Global ships, officers, and crew. Together with all other national Sea Shepherd entities, with the exception of the USA, I will continue to support our campaigns around the world utilizing our unique philosophy of aggressive non-violence and cooperation with governments and NGOs.

We are Sea Shepherd. We are direct action motivated by imagination, persistence, and courage.

My future lies with the people from around the world who have made and continue to make Sea Shepherd the most influential, passionate, and effective marine conservation movement on this planet.

Captain Paul Watson

Founder – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Canada (1977)

Founder – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA (1981)

 

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Marine Life & Conservation

Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean is back

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The Marine Conservation Society’s annual Great British Beach Clean is back, running from 16th – 25th September 2022.

The charity is calling for volunteers across the UK to join them at the coast for a week of beach cleaning and litter surveying.

The Great British Beach Clean, sponsored by Ireland’s number one soup brand, Cully & Sully, is more than just a clean up. Every year volunteers make note of the litter they collect, sharing the data with the Marine Conservation Society’s experts. The charity has used data collected to campaign for carrier bag charges, single-use plastic bans and deposit return schemes.

Last year, volunteers collected over 5 tonnes of litter, with an average of 3.85 items found for every metre of beach surveyed across the UK.

Clare Trotman, Beachwatch Officer at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do at the Marine Conservation Society without the support of our volunteers heading out to the coast to collect vital information on what’s polluting our seas.

“With beach cleans happening across the UK, from remote beaches to busy seaside resorts, there’s so many ways to get involved and support us this year. If you can’t make it to the beach, you can still take part by doing a local litter pick and survey where you live.”

At last year’s Great British Beach Clean, 75% of all litter collected was made from plastic and polystyrene.

From production to disposal, plastic has a direct impact on the ocean’s capacity to combat the climate crisis. Manufacturing plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Most plastic is produced using fossil fuels, meaning more plastic production results in increased carbon emissions. Plastic is also entering the food chain, from tiny phytoplankton to ocean giants, like whales.

Dr Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “Pollution, whether it’s big, small or even invisible, is having a hugely negative impact on our ocean and all those who rely on it – including us. Tiny microplastics are being eaten by plankton at the very foundation of ocean ecosystems, animals big and small are being tangled in plastic packaging, turtles are mistaking it for food, and chemical pollution is changing the ocean’s chemistry.

“All of this is an alarming picture of the state of our seas, but each and every volunteer who joins the Great British Beach Clean helps us research the scale of pollution in the UK. This research is vital to stop pollution at source, and we know it works. Cleaner beaches will support a healthy ocean, and a healthy planet.”

Cullen Allen (Aka Cully) from Cully & Sully said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Great British Beach Clean 2022. We’ve supported beach cleans in Ireland for the past 4 years and are excited about extending our commitments to the Great British Beach Clean. We’re excited to take part and get started, and of course spread the word on the importance of keeping our beaches and public spaces clean”.

Join the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean as an organiser, or volunteer, this year. Sign up via the charity’s website: www.mcsuk.org/greatbritishbeachclean.

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