Dr. Drew Richardson, PADI® Worldwide President and CEO, and Dr. Sylvia Earle, legendary oceanographer and President and Chairman of Mission Blue™, joined together at DEMA Show 2017 to discuss the critical role divers play in ocean conservation.
“Change comes when people care, and there are no better messengers to communicate the beauty and fragility of the ocean than divers who have a direct, emotional connection to the ocean,” says Earle.
Recognizing that the dive community has tremendous influence on the ocean conservation movement, PADI and Mission Blue formalized a partnership in June 2017. The partnership’s focus is to ignite support for marine areas in a network of locations targeted for enhanced protection. Together, PADI and Mission Blue aim to empower all divers to make a tangible impact during and after their dives by collecting and broadcasting their observations, scientific and otherwise, as well as connect them to local conservation efforts and best practices.
“We don’t get to live in an ideal world, we live in this one,” says Richardson. “Training one million new divers each year across the planet, PADI has the reach and influence to mobilize divers to be citizen activists. The diving community can be a powerful change agent that can engage in strategic alliances, have a strong voice and get involved in real solutions to mitigate the problems that threaten our ocean planet.”
Throughout its history, PADI has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to environmental conservation through its course offerings and alignment with organizations such as the Project AWARE® Foundation, to protect and preserve the planet. At last year’s DEMA Show, PADI announced its Pillars of Change social and environmental responsibility initiative. Devised to elevate the PADI mission to be best in and for the world, the Pillars help connect the PADI community to ocean causes they care about. The Pillars of Change focus on building awareness of important issues affecting ocean health, strengthening dive communities and forming global alliances that will engage and mobilize PADI Dive Centers, Resorts, dive professionals and divers to be a force for good.
To learn more about how you can get involved, visit www.padi.com/forceforgood.
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Jump into… A career in diving
A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’
I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!
I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!
If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles.
Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at.
There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.
So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour.
Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
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