PADI® (The Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) and Swiss prestige watchmaker, Blancpain are combining resources to work towards saving 30% of the ocean by 2030 – with the two organizations teaming up to create the Vulnerable Marine Species Program. Blancpain’s support will be key in funding the Global Shark & Ray Census, a new citizen science initiative that is slated to launch Earth Day 2024 and is designed to help protect vulnerable marine species around the globe from extinction.
PADI and Blancpain have been kindred spirits in Ocean conservation starting over two decades ago with a whale shark identification project. This latest evolution comes one year after both organizations announced an expanded commitment to partner and increase the number of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the globe. As a founding partner of PADI’s Blueprint for Ocean Action, Blancpain accelerated the creation of PADI’s MPA Program and its flagship citizen science program Adopt the Blue™– Millions of recreational divers now have the direct ability to choose to be Ocean Torchbearers and directly engage in meaningful marine conservation activities while exploring the Ocean.
“Blancpain has long been committed to real engagement in Ocean Conservation issues. Working together, will be a force multiplier in achieving our shared Ocean Conservation goals” says Dr. Drew Richardson, CEO of PADI Worldwide and Chairman of PADI AWARE Foundation. “Blancpain’s expanded support of PADI’s Vulnerable Marine Species Program forges a juggernaut combining the Blancpain Ocean Commitment with the PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action in advancing positive ocean change.”
Now, with the generous support from Blancpain, PADI and global non-profit partner PADI AWARE FoundationTM will build and deploy the largest underwater citizen science program designed to protect sharks and rays from extinction. In addition, PADI AWARE Foundation’s Mission Hub Community Grant Program will include support for both MPA and Vulnerable Marine Species Grantees internationally and at a local level. These grants support critical conservation initiatives in local communities all around the world.
PADI AWARE Foundation is among the world’s most successful shark and ray conservation organizations, with a 30-year track record of groundbreaking conservation measures for the oceanic whitetip shark, great hammerhead, giant manta ray, whale shark, and mako sharks – along with many other vulnerable species. Last year at CITES (the Convention on Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in Panama City. PADI was invited to CITES and asked to provide specialist advice and research to all attending government representatives. This helped secure support for a critical vote to double the amount of protected shark and ray species. To date, the PADI AWARE Foundation and PADI have helped secure protection measures for over 105 species of sharks and rays.
“With a growing base of divers interested in shark conservation, the Global Shark and Ray Census enables divers to function as diving citizen scientists in order to collect high-quality data and information on vulnerable shark species. Engaged divers across the planet who choose to participate will directly help accelerate national and global protection measures where they are needed most,” continues Richardson.
If you would like to personally support the PADI AWARE Foundation and Blancpain in creating positive ocean change, donations can be made to the PADI AWARE Shark Appeal. Blancpain has generously agreed to match donations 1:1, which will go towards supporting the development of the Vulnerable Species Program.
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in the Swiss Jura, Blancpain is known as the world’s oldest watch brand. Loyal to its tradition of innovation and confirmed by countless horological complications invented over the years, the Manufacture is constantly pushing the boundaries of watchmaking to take this art to places where it has never been before. Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment program pays homage to the brand’s significant historical links with the ocean, having launched the world’s first modern diving watch, the Fifty Fathoms, in 1953. This milestone moment in Blancpain’s near 300-year history marked the starting point of its collaborations with the ocean community, which have typified the 70 years since, as has its support for ocean conservation initiatives. www.blancpain.com
PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the largest purpose-driven diving organization with a global network of 6,600 dive centers and resorts, 128,000 professional members and more than 29 million certified divers to date. Committed to our blue planet, PADI makes the wonder of the underwater world accessible to all, empowering people around the world to experience, explore and take meaningful action, as Ocean TorchbearersTM, to protect the world beneath the surface. For over 50 years, PADI is undeniably The Way the World Learns to Dive®, setting the standard for the highest quality dive training, underwater safety and conservation initiatives while evolving the sport of diving into a passionate lifestyle. For divers by divers, PADI is obsessed with transforming lives and, with its global foundation, PADI AWARETM, creating positive ocean change. Seek Adventure. Save the Ocean.SM www.padi.com