It’s Not Too Late for Sharks and Rays at CITES CoP17

CITES appeal

Threatened by unregulated international trade, nine species of devil rays, three species of thresher sharks and the silky shark are proposed for listings under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Project AWARE and partner NGOs are on the ground at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24th to October 5th to help these species receive the protections they deserve.

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

“Sadly, the possibility that one day there could essentially be no sharks or rays left in the ocean is plausible if things do not change. PADI is proud to support Project AWARE’s shark and ray conservation efforts at CITES and beyond with a $20,000 match*. Please show your support for this important cause.” Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Support shark and ray conservation with Project AWARE by making a Single Donation or better yet, elevate your commitment by making a Monthly Gift and your donation will be matched* dollar-for-dollar by PADI.

* PADI Match Giving offer valid until 7th October 2016 up to a maximum of US$20,000

Silent Auction Launches on World Tourism Day

Bidding for the annual Project AWARE silent auction is NOW OPEN! 

Project AWARE Silent Auction Prizes 2016

Launching on World Tourism Day, September 27 and running until October 22, Project AWARE is using this international celebration of tourism to raise funds for its critical ocean conservation work and remind the dive community of the importance of ecotourism and responsible travel practices.

Funds raised through the auction will go a long way toward engaging scuba divers in environmental programs and activities such as Project AWARE’s citizen science program, Dive Against Debris™, to support a return to a clean and healthy ocean. The winning bidders will be announced at the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony by adventurers, explorers and keen Project AWARE supporters Monty Halls and Andy Torbet.

Want to attend the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony? Grab your ticket today and visit http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/ProjectAWAREAuction2016  to see all the amazing prizes, scuba goodies, holidays & much more to win.

Wherever you are in the world, happy bidding and remember to make a difference for ocean protection every time you dive, travel and more!

ReMember: Support Ocean Protection with your PADI Member Renewal

ReMember Ocean Protection with your PADI Member Renewal 2017The diving community, especially PADI® Professional Members play a critical role in leading ocean protection.

There are so many significant problems facing mankind, but as divers this is truly our cause. If scuba divers do not take an active role in preserving the aquatic realm, who will? – John Cronin, PADI Co-Founder

Your renewed commitment to ocean protection with your PADI Member Renewal continues to give the ocean a voice, help secure important policy advancements to keep shark and ray populations healthy and protect marine life from the onslaught of marine debris.

Project AWARE®, PADI’s environmental partner, is dedicated to providing PADI Pros like you with the tools and resources to take action, advancing the health of the ocean for future generations. Your donation supports hands-on citizen science, education and local marine conservation actions tailored for the dive community across the globe.

Go to the PADI Pros’ Site to update your credit or debit card details and add your donation* to support Project AWARE’s critical conservation work today!

* Gifts of €15/£15/20CHF or more received during PADI Member Renewals will receive a new limited edition Project AWARE silky shark mask strap pad as a special thank you for your renewed support.

Project AWARE: #Divers4SharksNRays

Project AWARE® is committed to engaging the dive community in science-based, respectful and well-informed policy actions. Join us in delivering our message to CITES* Member Parties: Vote YES for sharks and rays.

#Divers4SharksNRays - Sierra Madre

How can you get involved in #Divers4SharksNRay

  • Download our #Divers4SharksNRays sign
  • Take a photo underwater, on the boat, or in your dive shop with the sign and your dive buddy or group of divers
  • Share your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Use our campaign hashtag #Divers4SharksNRays and the following social media post:

#Divers4SharksNRays in {insert location} urge @CITES countries to vote YES for sharks and rays #CoP17 @projectaware + photo

or

We’re supporting @projectaware’s #Divers4SharksNRays @CITES #CoP17 Campaign from {insert location} + photo

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Pharaoh Dive Club – Deptheraphy – Project AWARE: what a winning combination!

At the end of June 2016 a ‘very special team’ took part to a Dive Against Debris Specialty as part of their training; let’s read how did it go directly from Steve Rattle, owner at Pharaoh Dive Club in El Quseir:

For the past few years, Pharaoh Dive Club have been a very active supporter of the amazing work of the Deptherapy charity. The provision of PADI training programs to the injured troops has proven extremely beneficial in many ways to the recipients, however, due to the temperate waters in the UK it is not possible to complete the training for many amputees. There are physical complications in bodily functions in maintaining core temperatures which inhibit diving in cooler climates.

pharahos depthIt is here that Roots Red Sea and Pharaoh Dive Club stepped up and provided free diving and accommodation to the participants of the Deptherapy programme. The charity simply has to fund the transfers from the UK, something they work tirelessly to achieve and for every £500 raised they are able to send 1 more injured soldier on the programme.

AMission PossibleWith the programme now running on a regular basis, there are now returning participants completing continued PADI education training. On this trip we have 3 PADI Advanced Open Water candidates, 2 completing PADI Deep Diver specialty and 4 PADI Open Water candidates.

In addition we had PADI Rescue Diver Chris Middleton, a double amputee undergoing PADI Divemaster training and taking on very successfully [under direct supervision of the instructor], all the skill demonstrations for the full PADI Open Water training of Criag Wood a triple amputee!

It was also decided that it would be a fantastic opportunity for all the candidates to add the Project Aware – Dive Against Debris Specialty. It emphasizes the crucial dive skills of peak performance buoyancy, re-enforces safe diving practices and of course provides a full background of environmental awareness.

After dinner on the 4th evening with the PADI Open Water and Advance Open Water course complete, the new qualified candidates and the instructional team attended and evening presentation of the Project Aware Dive Against Debris programme. Local issues were highlighted to the group and there was intense interest in how they could help to get the message out to the wider world.

The following morning the group assembled and prepared the specialist equipment and formulated a plan on how to tackle the task of cleaning above and below the waves at Gasus Bay north of Roots. Buddy teams were resolved, specific tasks assigned and logistics finalised before 3 buses and 2 pick up trucks set off on the 30 minute drive north. The choice of location was directed by the obvious accessibility issues of the disadvantaged divers, Gasus being a very short walk to the waters edge.

DAD 41As the Deptherapy divers set out to do the DAD primarily with fishing line collection as a goal, but with the intent of not letting single piece of bottom dwelling debris to escape notice, the land support crew swept the beaches collecting all kinds of waste blow ashore over the past months.

DAD 42All divers were given a bag, some pieces of wood for wrapping fishing line around and line cutters. Buddy teams had been arranged to compensate for their injuries, allowing every team to make a contribution to the effort without compromising their safety.

Those left on shore watched slightly jealously as the divers entered the water, the temperature was already soaring despite it still being the morning. As they submerged below the water then the beach clean-up began in sweltering heat under the sun. The debris from the beach was kept separate from that retrieved from the dive site as to be reported correctly on the DAD website.

On return to Roots in the afternoon the team helped with the weighing, categorising and counting of the marine debris. A total of 72 items excluding fishing line, were found weighing in at approximately 7kg. There was also 91 metres of fishing line collected.

However the true success of the event was to be seen over the next days when the Deptherapy divers returned from their following recreational dives all bearing gifts of debris and fishing lines that they had not noticed prior to taking part in the Project Aware Dive Against Debris, great job by all!

On behalf of PADI and Project AWARE congratulations and special thanks to Steve, Clare, Pharaoh’ staff and Deptherapy: keep up the good work!

Fundraise for Ocean Protection with a Finathon

preview-full-671DT_Finathon_Banners_LinkedinThis World Oceans Day, June 8, rise to the challenge of fundraising for ocean protection with a Finathon® – the ultimate way divers can support ocean protection – fins on and off.

Project AWARE®’s first global Finathon® launched in 2012 as a swimming challenge to raise funds and awareness to protect vulnerable shark and ray species. Since then, Finathon® events have spanned the globe with supporters not only putting their fins on to swim to end shark finning, but also taking part in many other exciting “fins off” challenges such as cycling across Europe, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, or even shaving for sharks or donating their birthday.

Check out all the new and updated Finathon tools and resources! Download your Finathon Action Kit today and start your fundraising challenge – fins on or off – for ocean protection!

My PADI – MyOcean – My Hope

5 Tips for Pros: How to Dive Against Debris

Redsea-Divers group photoOn May 28th, RedSea-Divers and Waterworld South organised a Dive Against Debris™ survey of their local House Reef in Hurghada, Egypt. 21 divers and 11 surface support removed and reported an incredible 988 kgs of debris in just one afternoon!

The survey organisers share 5 Tips to successfully complete a Dive Against Debris™ with a group of volunteers:

Robby teaching the Dive Against Debris specialtyPlan Your Dive Against Debris

Get the Dive Against Debris Event Organizer Kit including tools to plan and promote your event.

Put Your Dive Against Debris on the Map

Announce your Dive Against Debris to the world and allow community volunteers to support your efforts. Add your event to the Action Map.

Data reporting Redsea-DiversReport All Your Dive Against Debris Data

Reporting your Dive Against Debris data is essential to fight back against marine debris. Once reported, your data will enter a global database and help support the development and implementation of policies to improve solid waste management at all levels.

The data we collected on the day shows that better (wind-safe) garbage bins could improve the local situation.

Redsea-Divers tyresShare Your Debris Story

Let others know what you’re doing to fight trash. Post images, video and share your story on My Ocean, Project AWARE’s global, online community for ocean protection. And spread the word on social media!

Stay Safe and Have Fun

The global marine debris crisis is a serious issue but rallying the diving community behind this worthwhile cause is fun! The Redsea-Divers staff provided a wonderful BBQ to end this amazing day and fun was had by all!Redsea-Divers group 2

My PADI – My Ocean – My Hope

Adopt a Dive Site this Earth Day

Adopt a Dive SiteOn Earth Day, April 22, Project AWARE® announces its latest initiative supporting the fight against marine debris: Adopt a Dive Site™. Harnessing the unique underwater skill set of the scuba diving community, Adopt a Dive Site urges scuba diving leaders around the globe – including dive instructors, dive centres and resorts – to engage in ongoing, local protection and monitoring of our underwater playgrounds.

Adopt A Site MaterialsSeated within Project AWARE’s flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris™, Adopt a Dive Site is tailored to the global nonprofit organization’s most dedicated dive leaders: participants commit to carry-out monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, reporting types and quantities of marine debris found underwater each month from the same location. To support its community, Project AWARE will provide Adopt a Dive Site participants with a full suite of new survey tools to help implement their actions, a yearly report on the state of participants’ local dive sites and recognition tools for dive centers, resorts and leaders to share their stewardship with local customers and community.

Take your Dive Against Debris™ to the next level with Project AWARE’s new Adopt a Dive Site global campaign.  Read the full press release and Sign Up Today!

Abo Gallum Environmental Project

i-DiVE TRiBE  –  a group of divers whose target is to change the concept of diving in Egypt – has recently completed a successful environmental project in Abu Gallum Protected Area.

Dr. Abd El Rahman El Mekkkawi, PADI IDC Staff Instructor and co-founder of i-DiVE TRiBE, shares with us the report of the event!

PREAMBLE
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Our target is to develop our members’ diving skills, knowledge and concepts. We aim to use the knowledge and individual skills of our members to serve the community and preserve the environment.

We I-Dive Tribe, in collaboration with Incredible divers lead by Ibrahim El Mekkawi, and PADI Dive Resort Bedouin divers,  a group of divers interested in helping spread ecological awareness, would like to share with you our latest environmental project and event. Our founders Dr. Abd El Rahman El Mekkkawi and Farah Akram Samy wanted to do a project that increases the environmental awareness of our young Egyptian youth and helps save our beautiful nature for future generations.
So as a big family, the tribe gathered up and started collecting ideas. Finally, we came to a conclusion that with the help of Hamed Mohamed (teaching assistant at Luxor College of Fine Arts), we will do an underwater clean up in Abo Gallum Protected Area, and Dahab, offshore clean up from The Blue Hole to Abo Gallum, and do some Sandy Stones fluorescent and phosphoric road signs “part of abo galoum protected area remapping and renovation”.

idive1So we cut some flat stones from St. Catherin Mountains and started carving them. Then we colored them in fluorescent colors. They were made out of stone to be long living and eco-friendly. We used phosphoric colors to light up in the dark, as well as the fluorescent colors. The idea of using fluorescent lights was to reflect to it being naturally found in the sea, corals and marine life.
We then moved them to their destinations on the road to mark where people should head.

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In this picture, Mr. Emad elwani “Chairman of the City of Dahab” is with us while placing the road signs.

… And since science and knowledge must be a crucial part in our everyday life; and must be our base; the team had some lectures before starting the cleanup:

The lectures were about the corals and their importance to our oceans and seas; also about how to save it from plastics and rubbish that is suffocating it. Farah Akram was our lecturer.

We also had a very interesting lecture from Mr. Ahmed Sadek, the director of Abo Gallum protected Area, who came and talked about the importance of these protected areas.

Since we believe in the importance of science and knowledge, every diver was given an online pdf copy, of Project Aware book to study it and answer the knowledge reviews. Our team leaders/PADI instructors, offered to teach us some of the environmental specialties.

And as a part of acknowledging our work, the director of the protected areas had some acknowledgment certifications made for the whole team.

Then came one of the most important parts of our event that lasted 3 days, off shore and underwater clean up: with the help of a team of young men and women cleaned the shores from the famous Blue Hole to Abo Gallum …And our divers started the underwater clean up.

Here are some photos for both offshore and underwater clean up.

5Part of the garbage that was collected in big garbage bags, then was transported using camels to be disposed later on.

7Some of the pipes we collected.

6One of our team carrying the garbage collecting bag.

As a conclusion, we hope to spread the importance of keeping our seas, oceans and shores clean to have them in the future and share them with the future generations.#

Our team included:

Mohamed Abd el Monaem – Ali El Daour – Ibrahim El Mekkawi – Veronia Emad Gerges  – Usama A. El Dakrory – Sherook Mohsen Eldafrawy – Mohamed Molo – Nermeen Refaat Ayad – Ayman Mahmoud Senosy – Haytham Hussein ELfouly – Haytham Sharaf  – Esraa Zangeer – Ahmed Hesham – Anas Osama Hammad – Mahmoud Ahmed Alaa – Saad Abd El moneam – Ali Ahmos – Sayed A. El Sayed – Ahmed Saleh Abdelrahman  – Ahmed Yahya Abdallah – Abd El Rahman El Mekkawi – Farah Akram – Hamed Mohamed.

Many Thanks and Congratulations to i-DiVE TRiBE for the great event:

we really like what you are doing, keep up the good work!

 

Dive Against Debris™ Now Available in More than 10 Languages

Dive Against Debris

In an effort to make Dive Against Debris™ easier for divers of all different countries and nationalities, Project AWARE® has expanded its Dive Against Debris™ resources to more than 10 different languages. You can now remove, record and report marine debris no matter where you dive or what language you speak.

Dive Against Debris New Resources

Download the new Dive Against Debris™ resources in more than 10 languages

More than just a cleanup, Dive Against Debris™ is the world’s first and only underwater marine debris survey that utilizes data collected by divers to inform policy changes leading to a measurable reduction of trash entering our oceans.

Join divers around the globe in Dive Against Debris™, Project AWARE’s flagship citizen science program that aims to reduce the negative impacts of marine debris each time we dive.

As a PADI professional, you have the skills and knowledge to make a positive impact. Now Project AWARE wants to arm you – and all divers across the globe – with the right tools and resources to put your next Dive Against Debris™ into action.

Thank you for doing your part to protect our ocean planet – one dive at a time.