Project AWARE: We did it! Celebrating Historic Decisions for Sharks and Rays

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.

CITES_PAFteam 21.3.13Five species of highly traded sharks, both manta rays and one species of sawfish were listed under CITES at the conclusion of CoP16 held this month in Bangkok, Thailand. Delegates from 170 countries considered 70 proposals affecting more than 300 species, including eight of some of the most vulnerable sharks and manta rays.

“We’re proud that divers’ voice has contributed to achieving this key milestone for sharks and ray conservation and we’re grateful to proponent governments for recognizing the value of thriving shark and ray populations, and for championing sound proposals,” said Ania Budziak, Project AWARE’s Associate Director of Science and Policy.

The oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, three species of hammerheads and both manta rays – all classified as threatened on IUCN’s Red List – are now added to CITES Appendix II. “This is a significant and historic achievement for marine species in general, specifically manta rays which are the first Elasmobranch species to be listed under CITES on the first attempt,” said Budziak. “Scalloped hammerheads, among the most endangered and most commonly taken in illegal fishing operations for their valuable fins, received a surprising majority.”

Since 2010, when eight shark species were declined CITES listing, the scuba diving community joined with shark advocates around the world, have campaigned for this moment. Armed with more than 135,000 shark petition signatures and 245,000 letters sent direct to CITES delegates, Project AWARE has taken every opportunity to put CITES protections front and center on government agendas. Along with our partners, we’ve met with CITES representatives, participated in public consultation processes and worked on shark protection issues at every turn including the IUCN World Conservation Congress, meeting of the signatories to the CMS MOU on Shark Conservation and CITES preparatory workshops in Mozambique and Senegal.

“This is an enormous victory, not only for the vulnerable species and ocean ecosystems, but for the coastal communities globally whose tourism-based economies rely on healthy, thriving shark and ray populations,” said Alex Earl, Project AWARE’s Executive Director. “It’s also a significant achievement for the marine protection movement as a whole. This conference was the very first to consider an unprecedented number of shark and ray proposals and there has never been stronger momentum for their protections than now.”

What’s next for the campaign to protect sharks and rays? “We now urge all Parties to CITES to work swiftly on implementing the obligations to ensure sustainable international trade,” said Alex Earl. “But for the moment, we celebrate the significance of these historic decisions.”

Heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who joined the Project AWARE movement and campaigned for this amazing milestone. The passion and dedication of ocean advocates is unmatched. We’re proud of our achievements together and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you to all PADI Members and Dive Centres who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved. 

 

The New Australasian Rolex Scholar for 2013

Jayne Jenkins VP, Australasian Operations Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society ® has forwarded the following press release announcing..

OWUSS Logo

The New Australasian Rolex Scholar for 2013

The 2013 Our World-Underwater Australasian Rolex Scholar was announced last week, with this year’s prestigious award going to Stefan Andrews.

“Competition is always tough; these candidates are the best of the best. It is a very difficult decision for the selection panel to make. Sadly we only have one scholarship to award, but for the winner, it will be the most amazing, experiential growth year of their lives,” explained Jayne Jenkins, Australasian Vice President, Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society (OWUSS).

Essentially the OWUSS mission is to identify and develop the next generation of dive leaders and underwater researchers. For more than 35 years, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® and Rolex have fostered the development of future leaders of the underwater environment. There are three Rolex Scholarships: North America, Europe, and Australasia. During their scholarship year, three deserving recipients have the opportunity to travel internationally and learn from the world’s leading experts in conservation, underwater photography, maritime archaeology, marine engineering and other related fields.

Stefan Andrews  Photo courtesy of Jayne JenkinsStefan, our 2013 Australasian OWUSS Rolex scholar will now meet the global OWUSS team in New York in April and from there is plugged into one of the most prestigious global networks in the world; scientists, explorers, film makers, photographers, doctors.. You name it, someone will do it and they’ll be right at the very pinnacle of their career.

The mission for Stefan is to choose well and wisely those projects he would like to get involved with to help him advance his own career. It is one of the most rewarding short term and long term scholarships around.

“The OWUSS is a massive family with everyone looking to give back, to help deserving candidates find their true paths and excel. It can be very daunting at the beginning for new scholars but they are not cast out alone. We guide new scholars and help them become aware of the possibilities and make the right choices for them – each scholar is unique with unique requirements,” says Jenkins.

Stefan is 24 years old with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree majoring in Ecosystem Biogeochemistry, Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management, Marine and Coastal Planning and Management plus Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences from the University of Western Australia, Perth.

His specific interest is in ecological activism. Stefan is also a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with over 2,000 dives to his credit.

The Selection Panel feel that Stefan has the strength of character and determination to excel in his role representing the Scholarship Society and, as with all our Scholars, past and present to continue with a career in or around our oceans and marine environment.

We feel he is a very worthy recipient who will be a shining ambassador as the Australasian Rolex scholar for the Scholarship Society, our Corporate Sponsor Rolex and not least of all, himself and his family.

“Take a look at what our previous scholars have achieved and you’ll be amazed and impressed – we are every year!”

For more information about the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society, visit their website, http://www.owuscholarship.org/

 

Plug into the Digital Age with EVE

EveLogoMake delving into the digital age your resolution for the New Year by accessing the ideal digital interface for your business: EVE (Electronic Virtual Employee.) EVE’s many attributes and options include:

  • EVE 5.8: Specifically developed for PADI Dive Centres and Resorts, EVE can streamline nearly every aspect of your dive business by helping you automate and manage point-of-sale processes, equipment rental, course scheduling, dive/boat planning and inventory control.
  • EVE Online: Implement your own online store. EVE Online provides the infrastructure you need, including shopping cart technology and site hosting.
  • EVE Website Templates: EVE can help you set up an appealing website that integrates your class calendar and dive travel schedule.
  • EVE Cloud Hosting: Let EVE host and protect the digital assets of your business, including your customer database, online store and website.
  • EVE Data Backup: Reduce the possibility of catastrophic data loss with EVE’s automated backup systems.

Ready to make 2013 the year you master your digital universe? Email Mark Spiers at mark.spiers@padi.com.au to get started or visit issys.co.uk to download your free trial.

A Day in the Life of a Divemaster

An interview with James Boulton

PADI Divemaster
Bali Scuba
PADI 5 Star Dive Instructor Development Centre
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

What is your current job?
Having spent a number of years in the design and advertising industry, with a more recent focus on luxury travel, I decided it was time to stop looking at incredible dive destinations and rather – go work at one. Having recently completed a Divemaster internship with Bali Scuba, I’m on the hunt for my first job as a PADI pro.

Describe a typical day in your working life.
Most days as a Divemaster intern start bright and early at 07:15. I have a good idea of what to expect since the days’ schedule is always put up the afternoon before – especially when course work is planned and I’ve needed to prep beforehand. If it’s a “non-course” day, I help the other Divemasters with equipment and am close at hand to answer questions guests may have about paperwork and the exciting day ahead.

The vehicles are loaded and there’s a buzz in the air as each departs for its destination, either Tulamben, Padang Bai or Sanur Beach for the boat trip to Nusa Penida. The rest of the day I assist the Divemasters and Instructors as much as possible and they give me more responsibility each day to build experience and grow my confidence.

It goes without saying that the rest of the day is my favourite part; as we sink beneath the waves the real fun begins.

When did you start diving?
I learnt to dive in the icy waters of Cape Town in early 2008. Having only been diving a relatively short time, I’ve been fortunate to dive in South Africa, Thailand, Egypt and Indonesia.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
I recently completed a two-month Divemaster internship with Bali Scuba in Sanur, Bali. The Bali Scuba team love what they do and their passion for diving is infectious. If only everybody loved their jobs as much as these guys do!

How did you feel when you became a PADI Divemaster?
I was thrilled by the prospect of being able to find a job doing something I love, a lot of people aren’t that lucky. I’ve also gained the confidence to lead others and make sure they have just as much fun as I do – and feel safe while doing it.

What highlights do you recall from your DM course?
I found it extremely rewarding assisting student divers; the hard work pays off when you can help someone overcome a challenge. Meeting people from all over the world has also meant hearing some amazing stories, and making new dive buddies. Another highlight was the equipment exchange with my far more petite buddy – fitting into gear three times smaller than your own makes for a fun skills test.

Where have you worked as PADI Pro?
Nowhere yet, but I hope to find work somewhere with loads of sunshine and tropical water.

What is one of your favourite memories in your diving career?
Without a doubt catching my first glimpse of mantas in Bali while doing my DM course – was a priceless memory for me.

What words of advice would you give to new dive professionals?
You can’t buy experience, so take every opportunity to learn

Project AWARE: Get the business edge by becoming 100% AWARE

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.

Join dive centres worldwide in this unique partnership program.

ProjectAWAREwebMore than 150 PADI Members and Dive Centres worldwide are putting ocean protection at the heart of their businesses. You can join them and become 100% AWAREProject AWARE’s Partnership Giving Program exclusively for PADI Members.

For your business 100% AWARE means you can:

  • Streamline PIC Online Process – give all of your students the AWARE certification card, in one easy step.
  • Effortlessly support ocean protection with every certification.
  • Create loyal customers who appreciate and value your commitment to conservation.
  • Partner with Project AWARE to protect the underwater world your business relies on.
  • Gain positive exposure to a movement of more than 1.5 million scuba divers worldwide.

Many dive professionals support ocean protection, but 100% AWARE dive centres and instructors have a special commitment. They partner directly with Project AWARE to support a clean, healthy ocean planet by making a donation for each certification on behalf of their dive students.

You can be part of Project AWARE’s 20 years of successful marine conservation programs by joining 100% AWARE, the only environmental partnership program of its kind.  Email info@projectaware.org.au or download the agreement form today.

What are the benefits?

You can promote your commitment to conservation with AWARE’s fantastic marketing tools:

  • Posters, flyers, decal, certificate, web banners and social media tools to promote your support.
  • Listed as a 100% AWARE Partner and featured on the global map  www.projectaware.org
  • Broad reach – Project AWARE has a reach of approx 1.5 million globally.
  • My Ocean Online Badge and a shout out on Facebook – Project AWARE has over 90,000 followers and growing.
  • Your partnership contributes 10 points towards the PADI Green Star award and waives the usual fee.
  • Connect directly to customers who want to dive with centres who are environmentally responsible

Position Vacant – PADI Regional Manager (Region 29)

Job Title: Regional Manager (Indonesia & East Timor)

We are seeking a Regional Manager (Indonesia & East Timor) to join our PADI Asia Pacific team. In this role you will be responsible for providing localised support to PADI Members. You must possess a thorough understanding of PADI’s products and services whilst meeting or exceeding customer expectations.

Further information and the job description can be found on the PADI Pros’ Site under the ‘Employment’ section.

Applications closing date: Friday, 8th March 2013

To apply:
Please send your CV to:
Alison Vasek
Manager, Human Resources
PADI Asia Pacific
Email: alison.vasek@padi.com.au