Project AWARE: Celebrate Australia’s New Marine Reserves

This article is courtesy of  the Project AWARE Foundation. You can also see the full article here

Time to celebrate! On the 16th of November 2012 in Australia, the largest network of marine parks in the world was officially declared and is now legally in place.

Over the last few years your submissions made the Australian Government aware of the broad support for ocean protection amongst the global dive community – well done!

Join us in thanking the Australian Government for this landmark decision to protect our unique marine wildlife and places.

The new reserves protect some of Australia’s marine treasures including the Coral Sea, the jewel in Australia’s marine crown. With pristine corals and swarming sharks, the Coral Sea is a dream destination for divers everywhere. Also protected are unique environments in SW Australia, where blue whales come to feed and 90% of marine life is found no where else on earth.

Covering an area almost one-third the size of Australia the new reserves are a big step forward for ocean protection, but we have an opportunity to make them even better. Very soon we will tell you more about this opportunity and how you can help make the reserves the best they can be.

But for now let’s celebrate the creation of the world’s largest network of marine reserves! Highly protected marine reserves enable threatened species like sharks, rays and turtles to recover. Read more about Marine Parks and Sharks.

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 First Finathon™ in Malaysia – What A FINtastic Event

Project AWARE’s FINatical about Dive Downbelow who reached the finish line and raised AUD $5,000 for sharks.  Everyone completed the 1km open sea swim and enjoyed the day so much they’re asking: “When’s the next Finathon?”

This was a great healthy fun way to raise awareness and funding for a hugely important cause. We’re amazed at the support shown by all participants and cannot thank them enough”

The Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Directors, Richard and Joanne are passionate about sharks and jumped on board straight away to host the first Finathon™ in Sabah. Downbelow funded the entire day so all money raised will go directly to Project AWARE.

Along the route they stationed 3 boats, 3 kayaks and 6 Instructors with life rings to monitor the participants.  An illegal fishing net and 34kg of marine debris discovered on route was removed later that day by Downbelow staff.

If you’re planning your first Finathon™ and have dive courses scheduled involve everyone in your big event.  Dive Downbelow IDC candidates swam the course and received credit for their ongoing program as did three PADI Open Water course participants.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved for being FINatical enough to join the challenge and help give sharks a brighter future.

Special Congratulations To Kinabula International School (KIS) Diving and Conservation Club for their speedy swim times and super fundraising.  KIS was the highest fundraising team to enter event, raising a staggering RM3500! As an added bonus, Cassandra Davis finished in 1st place with a time of 21 minutes closely followed by Andre Leong with a time of 21:32. Teacher, Gareth Pearson finished 3rd with a time of 24 minutes and Georgia O’Donnell in Year 7 produced a fantastic time of 29:15.

PADI Member Renewals: Free Project AWARE manta mask strap with your AU$25 donation

Manta rays, a species close to the heart of every diver, are at risk of extinction. The time is now. If you are a renewing PADI Member (Divemaster, Instructor and above), then you can make an urgent donation with your PADI Member Renewal to protect mantas globally.

All gifts of AU$25 or more received during PADI Member Renewals receive a new Project AWARE manta mask strap. There’s 4 ways for PADI Members to make a gift:

1)      You can choose to donate when you set up your Automatic Renewal

2)      If your Auto Renewal is already set up simply email your PADI Team to add the donation for you memdep@padi.com.au

3)      Choose the donate option when you complete your renewal online

4)      Complete the PADI Member Renewal 2013 Form which includes info about the special offer.

FACTYour support has already helped Project AWARE and our conservation partners succeed in safeguarding the globally threatened giant manta ray and its key habitats under the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

FACT: Manta ray catch has nearly quadrupled in seven years according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

Project AWARE relies on you – the PADI Member – to help raise critical funds and take action for ocean protection. We’re working at every turn to ensure that mantas will not disappear on our watch.

New for 2013! The Project AWARE Manta Ray Card

Don’t forget to replace your PADI Certification Card with Project AWARE’s new Manta Ray Card. Show your student divers you’re mad about manta rays in 2013.

ScubaEarth™ launches next week to the general public

If you haven’t set up your store profile, it only takes a few minutes.  Add your logo, links and About Us info via the PADI Pro’s Site, then click through from the ScubaEarth icon on the home page to see ScubaEarth in action. For complete instructions, see our previous posts.

If something hasn’t been working for you, these troubleshoot tips below will help!

ScubaEarth Profile Trouble Shooting

If you’ve set up your account and something isn’t working right, please read on for some hints, tips and suggestions:

ScubaEarth Facebook link isn’t working

It’ s possible you’ve put in too much information into the online form. Our website will automatically populate  http://www.facebook.com/  (see screengrab below). You only need to enter the information following www.facebook.com/

 

For example: if we were to paste in the entire web address below – the link won’t work. Only the part highlighted in yellow should be input to the PADI Pro’s Site.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beach-Cities-Scuba/145081197841

Some businesses may have a “vanity” Facebook link (see example below).

http://www.facebook.com/jacksdivinglocker

In this example, only the text jacksdivinglocker should be input to the PADI Pro’s Site. The site will automatically add in http://www.facebook.com/ 

ScubaEarth Blog link isn’t working

Here are correctly-formatted examples for a ScubaEarth blog feed using Blogger and WordPress (the two most popular platforms). Copy and paste the appropriate link into the Pro’s Site – substituting your blog’s name for blogname.

Blogger:
blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

WordPress:
blogname.com/?feed=rss2

The About Us section

Before saving your final copy, look for special characters such as an ampersand (&) quotation marks or apostrophe’s. These characters may not display correctly – the ampersand cannot be used at all.

Problem: black diamonds with question marks

 

Solution: an apostrophe or quotation mark is causing the problem. For apostrophes – put a space before the apostrophe.

OKAY: Joe ‘s Diving Locker
NOT OKAY: Joe’s Diving Locker

For quotation marks, put a space to the right of the quotation mark.

OKAY: ” free”
NOT OKAY: “free”

Problem: About Us paragraph gets cut off

For example:
Joe ‘s Diving Locker offers scuba & snorkel tours year-round. Visit our website, or call us to book your adventure today.

Displays on ScubaEarth like this:
Joe ‘s Diving Locker offers scuba

Solution: remove any “and” signs (aka ampersands) from your text. Anything following that special character won’t show up. For example:

Advanced ScubaEarth Trouble Shooting

ScubaEarth is in Beta –  help us improve the site by reporting any problems you may be experiencing not addressed in the article above.

Click the Bug Reporting link on the left side of the screen when logged into ScubaEarth (see screengrab below).

You will be asked for your browser and operating system. To obtain this information, visit this helpful website: thismachine.info.

Project AWARE’s Feature Member of the Month – Two Fish Divers

Congratulations to Two Fish Divers who are recognized this month as a Project AWARE Foundation Feature Member. 3 locations, 9 Dive Against Debris events and a whole load of rubbish!

My Ocean is a global movement for ocean protection and is people-powered. My Ocean community members seek to connect and scale up local actions for change.

Two Fish Divers is owned and run by Tina & Nigel, an English couple who are BSAC & PADI Instructors, and they have been living and diving in the area since 1999.

Thank you to everyone who has been active on My Ocean and thanks for supporting Project AWARE.

DEMA Show 2012

Are you going to DEMA next Month?

Take control of your business and your career at the world’s only international, trade-only event for the scuba diving industry. Mark your calendars for DEMA Show 2012, November 14-17 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Let us know if you are attending by emailing padi@padi.com.au

We look forward to seeing you there!

OZTeK 2013 Dive Conference & Exhibition

The OZTeK Dive Conference and Exhibition will be held on the 16-17th March 2013 in Sydney, Australia. This exhibition caters to every level of diving interest and promotes the excitement and adventure of diving.

The exhibition will feature everything that divers need; from cameras to compressors, regulators to rebreathers, snorkels and scooters, facemasks and fins. Information will also be provided about exotic overseas dive resorts and great live-aboard trips. The world’s leading equipment brands, accessories and travel destinations will be on show at OZTeK 2013.

With more than 60 presentations, seminars and workshops focused on the very best of diving ‘info-tainment’, the OZTeK 2013 Conference offers an inspirational voyage of discovery into all of diving’s future possibilities.

Important event information:

OZTeK Dive Conference & Exhibition
Saturday 16th March 2013: 09:00 – 18:00
Sunday 17th March 2013: 09:00 – 17:00

Location:
Australian Technology Park
Locomotive Street (off Garden St.)
Eveleigh, Sydney, Australia NSW 1430

Website: http://www.diveoztek.com.au/
E-mail: admin@diveoztek.com.au