Project AWARE: Renew Your Support for the Ocean

ReMember to RenewThe diving community and PADI Professional Members in particular are playing a critical role in making significant strides forward in ocean protection.

Project AWARE, PADI’s environmental charity partner, is dedicated to providing PADI Pros with the tools and resources to join in campaigns and activities that contribute to advancing the health of the ocean for future generations.

Your gift* and renewed commitment to ocean protection with your PADI Member Renewal helps Project AWARE achieve conservation successes to secure a brighter future for shark and ray population and protect marine life from the onslaught of marine debris.

FACT: Your support enables Project AWARE to secure important policy advancements to keep shark and ray populations healthy.

FACT: Entanglement in marine debris threatens humpback whales and many other marine animals. More than 1,500 entangled sea creatures have been reported through Dive Against Debris since 2011.

AWARE Card InstructorWant the New Project AWARE card now? Renew your support for the ocean by choosing the new Project AWARE version of your PADI Membership card and donate* with your PADI renewal today!

Thank you for renewing your support for the ocean with your PADI Member Renewal.

Contact PADI EMEA for more information or visit

* Gifts of €15/£15/CHF20 or more receive a new limited edition Project AWARE Humpack Whale mask strap pad as a special thank you for your renewed support.

Mask Strap

Interviews with Dive Industry Leaders – Martin Pedersen

PADI Regional Manager Jonas Samuelsson talking to Martin Pedersen, OceanAdventures, about his passion for diving, environmental issues and his new shop in Kolding, Denmark.

Open water - MartinTell us how you got involved in diving?

Well I guess the passion for the sea started at a very young age. Though they’re where no divers in my family, my grandfather was an old fisherman. I have spend countless of hours on a little boat in “Lillebælt”, just staring at the sea and waiting on what wonders my grandfathers net was bringing up from the depth. These hidden secrets grew on me with my age, the unexplored had too be explored. I blew first bubbles at the local evening school for young kids. This day I still remember the feeling, I guess all divers remember their first bubbles and what an experience that was, well I surely still do and wow what a feeling! That truly kick started the whole thing and my love for the sea and ocean grew only stronger by the day.

LE dykkereWhat fascinate you so much with diving?

Diving is a passion, a lifestyle, a way of thinking and not only the sport that it is recognized as. I love my family, but I really love the ocean too. When I say it’s a lifestyle, a passion, I mean it all goes hand in hand, diving is for every one, when you think you have tried it all, seen it all, experienced it all, the ocean just keeps on surprising in wonderful ways. A normal dive, at you local divespot, you have done maybe 500 times before, but that one day it just blows you away with a new and unexpected experience, you totally forget time, forget all the bills you need to pay, the complaints form the boss. At that unique moment you feel at special connection, and its not at connection to WIFI or a mobile phone, it’s a connection to the ocean and at the same time you realize what at small brick you are in the big puzzle called mother nature. That is what I call ocean love and that is my fascination.

DM træningYou are active in creating public awareness for protecting our lakes and oceans. Tell us more please.

My company was founded on ideals to teach and educate the public about the unknown and unexplored seas around Denmark. Based in Kolding with the narrow strait of Lillebælt in the backyard, it became my playground and base of operation. The whole concept was the get people aware of our seas and introducing them in a eco-friendly way. What we did, was we made a lot of educational events, funded by different organizations, and then we went out to public schools, government institutions, kindergaardens, public areas, shopping streets etc and created an event called ‘Feel the Ocean’. The goal was simple, to give the ocean a voice. But what we did was even better; we influenced a whole young generation in a city. We made them taste, feel, smell, see and explore what we had with us from the sea and educated them in a new way, where there was no limits, test or exams. And of course the best of it all, I was telling people about my love for the ocean.

MP undervisningYou been working as a diving instructor in Asia for many years, but then returned to Denmark to open up a dive shop. Tell us about it please.

Yes correct I spend 4 years I Asia, working, teaching and truly getting into the dive industry. Most of the 4 years I spend on a little island in Thailand called Koh Tao. Those years helped me when I opened the dive shop I have today. After 4 years I had the insight and tools for opening a small dive shop I Kolding. After barely 2 years, I had to move to a bigger shop. During a period of five years I went from being a small PADI Divecenter to one of Denmark’s leading PADI 5-Star IDC center’s.

What is your favorite dive in Denmark?

Jonas, this is a trick question, I’m not gonna tell you my secret spot, that’s a well kept secret only few know of, but I can tell you of a dive I really love. There is a small island located in the middle of Lillebælt and this place is absolutely beautiful in all its features and gives you a pretty good idea if what a unique place Lillebælt is.

DSCN7767You just moved the location of your dive shop. What’s the benefit of the new one?

Yep correct we just moved into the new shop, which gave us a more professional look and taking diving with our clients to a whole new level. I wanted to offer something different. So after many chats with my staff, countless questionnaires from student, the course was set – we had to create a new platform for inspiration, education and guidance, all under one roof. So we created that in our new center and hopefully this will bear fruit in time.

Any favorite dives you still dream off?

Well where there is water, there are adventures to be explored. I think my personal list is as long as any other diver in the world. Let’s call it a bucket list, taking one dive at the time.

MP FormidlerWhat’s your future goal in the diving industry?

2016 is gonna be a very exiting year for both my company and me personal. Hopefully, I see in the future, me becoming a CD, so please cross a finger or two for me and to make our new dive center a great success.

Any tips for our readers who is dreaming of becoming a diving instructor and opening their own diving center?

Do it, if you have a dream and driven by passion, then do it. Be aware of all hard work, but I’m sure that as long as you remember where it all started and share your passion with others you will succeed.

 Thanks for the time. You are a great role model for all divers. 

Show your Dedication to Ocean Protection – Become a 100% AWARE Partner

100% AWARE - BalkySub SpainAre you an instructor or dive center who takes ocean protection to heart? We all want to keep our undersea world clean and healthy – not just for ourselves, but for the dive community, now and for future generations to come. If conservation is important to you and your business, consider becoming 100% AWARE.

Across the globe, PADI instructors and dive centers are committing to ocean protection through 100% AWARE partnerships. 100% AWARE partners support a healthy and abundant ocean by making a donation to Project AWARE on behalf of each student that they certify through PADI PIC Online.* 100% AWARE partners’ ongoing contributions make a difference by providing vital funds to support Project AWARE’s two core areas of focus: marine debris prevention and shark and ray protection.

2015 Project AWARE card choicesBest of all students certified through a 100% AWARE partner will receive the Project AWARE version of their PADI certification card, so that they can proudly display their support and remember their positive experience with you! Divers value practices that protect the ocean and want to dive with instructors and dive centers that share their values – show them that you care!

Ready to get started? Follow these easy steps to become a 100% AWARE Partner:

1) Get started by submitting your 100% AWARE partner agreement. Individual instructors and dive centers may apply. You have the option to donate $10 per certification card, or a flat donation of $250 per month.
2) Log into POL using the PADI member number on your 100% AWARE agreement and select your choice of preferred certification card.
3) That’s it! All your certifications will be automatically issued as AWARE cards without making a donation to process.

It’s easy to get started! Effortlessly support ocean protection with every certification – the benefits are endless! If you need any help along the way, Project AWARE is here to help. Simply contact the Project AWARE Team or click here to learn more.

*With the exception of EFR, Seal Team and Tec Rec.

World Oceans Day 2015: Project AWARE explains the Ugly Journey of our Trash

Ugly Journey of our Trash 2015

How does our trash make its way from land to sea? Project AWARE’s new animated infographic explains the ugly journey, and shines light on the dangers our litter poses to marine ecosystems and wildlife along the way. While the marine debris issue may at first appear daunting, there is hope! With our underwater skill set, the dive community is uniquely positioned to contribute to global solutions by participating in Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE’s year-round underwater debris removal and reporting program.

We all want a healthy ocean and healthy planet – join Project AWARE in the fight against marine debris – become a Debris Activist this World Oceans Day and all year long!
Ugly Journey of our Trash Video

Our ocean is under siege. From everyday trash like plastic bags, food wrappers and drink bottles, to larger items like car batteries, kitchen appliances and fishing nets, our debris is entering the sea at an alarming rate. Our ocean has become a dumping ground.

Marine debris is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous to sea life, hazardous to human health, and costly to our economies. Marine animals can become entangled in debris or mistake small particles of trash for food – often with fatal results. Divers, swimmers and beachgoers can be directly harmed by encounters with debris or its toxins. And, the costs of plastic debris to marine ecosystems are estimated at 13 billion dollars a year. Better information about sources and impacts is extremely important to drive changes in infrastructure and waste management policies at all levels.

Who is responsible? All of us. Together we can help prevent and clear up this mess for a clean, healthy ocean planet.

Download and share “The Ugly Journey of Our Trash” to educate your community on how our rubbish becomes the ocean’s problem.

Kick off your #MyOceanChallenge this Endangered Species Day

Are you up for a challenge? Join the Endangered Species Day 2015 celebration by taking the My Ocean Challenge, Project AWARE’s new, exciting way to take action for ocean protection.

Endangered Species Day - My Ocean Challenge

The challenges facing endangered marine species, big and small, have never been more pressing. With My Ocean Challenge, you can help tackle two of the biggest challenges faced by our ocean: marine debris and over-exploitation of sharks and rays.

Taking the My Ocean Challenge is a great way to raise awareness about endangered marine species and raise funds critical to protecting our ocean and its wildlife.

From running a marathon to baking cakes, participating in a sponsored abseil event or donating your birthday, the funds raised through your My Ocean Challenge fuel the grassroots action and policy change necessary to ensure a clean, healthy ocean planet for us today and for future generations.

On Endangered Species Day, May 15 – or starting any day you choose – go to to kick off your My Ocean Challenge. A bike ride, skydive or taking part in a sponsored bungee jump – the possibilities are endless! My Ocean Challenge is all about challenging yourself to help protect the ocean. The only limit is your imagination!

Our ocean is facing tough challenges. Your challenge this Endangered Species Day and beyond: Fundraise for its protection.

Take Project AWARE’s #MyOceanChallenge

*Beginning on Endangered Species Day 2015, the first ten fundraisers to raise $500 or more will also be awarded with a Quikpod selfie stick so you can show the world how you took on the challenge!

TecRec Expedition South Africa

This is a start of a series of articles about a TecRec Expedition in South Africa where a team of TecRec Divers are looking for a submarine and a pre-historic fish. The article series starts with a blog by Jonas Samuelsson, PADI Regional Manager and TecRec Instructor Trainer, about what technical diving means for him. Then Patrick Voorma, TecRec Instructor Trainer, describes the objectives of the South Africa Expedition during May month. We hope by our series of articles we can inspire others to explore the wonders of this world.

What does technical diving mean for you?

During a flight from United States to Europe last year I started to talk to the passenger sitting next to me. I explained that I just been diving some caves in Mexico. Hearing this he asked me what technical diving was and why I thought it was so interesting. I gave a pretty conventional answer, but later during the same flight I was thinking about the question further.

What does technical diving really mean for me and why does it fascinate me so much?

The definition of technical diving is pretty straight forward. It is defined simply as a diver who enter an overhead environment like a caves or a wreck. It is when you are diving with mixed gases and can not go straight up to the surface due to decompression obligations. That’s the basic idea of it at least. But is that really the definition of technical diving? Perhaps so in technical terms. For me however its stands for so much more. Technical diving for me is more about the possibilities the equipment and training offer. To be able to explore a world beyond most.

earth-and-the-moonFor me there always been a pararell between space and underwater explorations. Lot of the technical challenges space explorers face is also faced by a technical diver. We are both entering in an environment different than the one that we evolved into living in. Only 12 people have ever walked on the moon but even less have ever dived deeper than 300 meters. To enter these worlds takes years of planning and would not be possible without an abundance of complex life supporting equipment. Is it a part of being human to explore and try to push the established boundaries.

But is there any value of “just walking on the moon” or “just diving deep” you might ask yourself. For me it is because the process of doing so, we discover as much about our self as we are developing techniques useful not only in our own field, but in other fields as well. Perhaps a greater understanding how gases effects the human body in extreme environments and the development of rebreather technology used by divers might one day assist the first human’s habitat other planets. But space and underwater explorers have so much more in common than purely the technical. Both groups of explorers share an idea, a philosophy. Inherent for all exploration of all types is the opportunities that it opens up to the people doing the exploring. For some it is the opportunity to gain new knowledge. For others it is the opportunity to create wealth and expand commerce. For still others the opportunity lies in grow spiritually and to gain a greater appreciation of the secrets among us. I

It could be said that by not continuing to explore we face the risk of killing the spirit of adventure and by doing so something fundamental within us would also die. Exploration is what inspire us to greater things and to move mankind forward. It gives us hope and meaning. The environmental movement started with pictures taken of our blue planet from space by the first space explorers. First then did we realize how fragile our planet is and why it is so important to act now to prevent us from destroying all the beauty that took millions if not billions of years to evolve. My hope is that our pictures and videos from the depth of the oceans and lakes would inspire people in the same way as those pictures taken from space.

jonasMarcel Proust said “the true voyage of discovery is not so much about finding new landscape as to get a new pair of eyes”. The ocean takes up more than 75% of our planet. The ocean got an average depth of 2000 miles and is home of a larger biodiversity and bio density than the rain forest. The ocean has more earthquakes and volcanoes than on land. You find the longest mountain range in the ocean. Most animals live here, and it is mostly unexplored. For example during our expedition in Iceland in June 2011 we dived and filmed geothermal chimneys. Those chimneys was discovered first in 1989 and many believe that it was in chimneys like those in Iceland where life began. Life around those chimneys survives through chemo syntesis rather than photosynthesis which means that all the life supporting energy is coming from the inside of the earth rather than the sun.

Our hope is that our images from places like the chimneys on Iceland would give people those new eyes that Marcel Proust referred to.  And with those new eyes have a better understanding how unique and fragile the underwater landscape is. By seeing all the wonders and beauty that lies beneath perhaps we also would also realize that benefit of protecting it. I remember as a little boy sitting by the lake close to the house where I grew up. I looked down, and I was wondering, what was down there. I wanted to explore it. Today, as a technical diving instructor, I am able to explore wrecks, caves, reefs together with some amazing people while traveling around the world and for me that is one of the things that makes life worth living.

Exploration gives us hope that the future can be better, for us and for future generations. Technical diving gives you the tools to do just that….


3Durban’s Ghost Fleet In 1685 the sailing ship The Good Hope ran aground off the Bluff, South Africa and became the first recorded wreck of the Durban bay. There are 141 recorded wrecks off Durban and many more unrecorded. In the past two years we have been exploring the coastline around Durban in search of some of these wrecks. The first wreck we found was the Namaqua or uMZimvubu as she was best known as. She sunk in 1932. She is at 60 meters approx. 6km NEE of the Durban Harbour.

The next wreck was the Sir Gordon, the dredger attributed to building the Durban Harbour. She lies in 65m Our most exciting find was that of the HMS Otus, a British Odin class submarine, scuttled in 1946. She is at 105 meters. On the 24 January 2014, 30 years after she sank we found the MV Cape Columbine, a fishing trawler that sprung a leak and sank in 65m. The next exciting discovery was the US Nahma, one of the most expensive private ships built in 1898. She sunk in 1933 and lies in 75m. The last wreck we discovered is at 75m but I am yet to identify her. We have called it Durban’s Ghost Fleet. During my searching for these wrecks I have come across a couple of stories about two possible submarines that were sunk off Durban amidst much secrecy.

shot 001Amongst others, I have spoken to a navy and later commercial diver, who says that he had personal knowledge of these two submarines. He provided me with the approximate depths and positions that he could remember using Durban landmarks. They had no GPS at that time. For the past two years I have been searching this area and am now confident that I have found the position of one of these submarines. She lies at 80 meters.

2I have been fortunate enough to have dived with the late Peter Timm on numerous occasions. Peter discovered the prehistoric fish, the Coelacanth, thought to have been extinct for more than 30 million years in Sodwana’s Jesser Canyon. He has identified more than 19 individual fish before his untimely passing. Peter was confident that if we were to find a similar canyon off Durban on the 100m Isobaths we would find Coelacanths.

After many hours of searching out at sea using sonar, I have managed to find such a canyon off Durban. So this now all sets the scene for our planned Submarine and Coelacanth expedition in May 2015.

  • 14 May:               Assemble gear, briefings, final coordination of plans and teams
  • 15 May:               Check out and shake down dive Max depth 30m.
  • 16 May:               60m Dive, procedures, support divers and emergency plans
  • 17 May:               Discover a Submarine 80m
  • 18 May:               Revisit the Submarine 80m
  • 19 May:               HMS Otus Submarine 105m
  • 20 May:               Canyon Dive searching for Coelacanths 120m
  • 21 May:               Canyon Dive searching for Coelacanths 120m
  • 22 May:               Canyon Dive searching for Coelacanths 120m
  • 23 May:               Canyon Dive searching for Coelacanths 120m

Roger Horrocks will be the cameraman to film this expedition. He has been involved with many underwater documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery, BBC and Disney Channel. He will be filming using the Red Dragon Camera and Gates housing. The team members involved in this expedition will be the following:

  • Jonas Samuelsson: PADI Course Director, Tec Trimix Instructor Trainer
  • Patrick Voorma: PADI Course Director, Tec Trimix Instructor Trainer
  • Allan Maclean: PADI Dive Master, Tec Trimix Diver
  • Karl Kruger: PADI Master Instructor, Tec Trimix Diver
  • Erik Brown: Tec Trimix Instructor
  • Roger Horrocks, Cameraman, Tec Trimix Diver

Expedition South Africa. Objective: Locate, identify and film a Coelacanth.

coelacanth_501_600x450The primitive-looking coelacanth was thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Coelacanths are elusive, deep-sea creatures, living in depths up to 700 meters. They can be huge 2 meters or more and weighing 90 kilograms. Scientists estimate they can live up to 60 years or more. Their population numbers are, predictably, not well known, but studies in the Comoros suggest only about 1,000 remain there. They are considered an endangered species.

Earth Day: It’s Our Turn to Lead

Dive Against Debris Twitter PADI

22nd April 2015 marks the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day. This year, under the theme “It’s Our Turn to Lead”, the Project AWARE movement will once again lead efforts to tackle marine debris from beneath the surface of the waves.

We know only too well the devastating impacts marine debris has on ocean wildlife. And we see this first hand. In fact through Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris program, divers are truly able to lead efforts and actions to remove rubbish and collect and report data on what lies beneath the ocean surface. It’s a unique perspective, a different view point from the “out of sight – out of mind” view.

So this Earth Day let’s join together to show the world how divers are leading the fight against debris.

  1. Lead and Teach

Get the rating to teach the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Distinctive Specialty. From planning the dive to reporting the debris data, the Dive Against Debris Distinctive Specialty prepares students to participate and support regular Dive Against Debris surveys, join other surveys, or, in case of more experienced divers, to start surveys of their own.

All applications received before 30th April will receive a Dive Against Debris mesh bag absolutely free*! Apply direct to PADI today and they will donate your instructor application directly to Project AWARE.

All course materials can be downloaded from

  1. Organize

Add your Dive Against Debris action to the Action Zone and invite your local community to take part. Be a leader and raise awareness locally.

Divers are leading the fight against marine debris every day and on every dive. Stay tuned to Project AWARE this April as we celebrate Earth Day and recognize Dive Against Debris heroes like you.

*Offer available whilst stock lasts

Dykningens dag 30 Maj 2015 I Nynäshamn

Som ett led i den ökade miljöpåverkan som sker så genomför ECODIVE AB och NOC DYK & MARIN i samarbete med Project Aware och PADI en miljödag för att visa hur nedskräpningen påverkar våra hamnar och Kustområden samt hur man med enkla medel kan skydda miljön i våra Hamn och Kustområden

thQ2GBIT5SProjektet genomförs på ideel basis med sponsring av tävlings priser ifrån några aktörer inom sportdykarbranschen. I samband med projektet kommer några tävlingsmoment att finnas med fina priser för deltagarna. Självklart finns det även plats för icke dykare att hjälpa till med omhändertagandet av skräp på kajen.


Ladda mobiltelefonen och delta i selfie tävlingen. DVS ta ett unikt roligt annorlunda kort och ha chansen att vinna ett fint pris i slutet av dagen. Tävlings jury och enväldig domare är PADI och Aware personalen på plats… Korten laddas upp på en FB sida där bedömning och Lottning sedan sker av Project Awares och PADI´s Personal som enväldiga domare. Under dagen organiserar Komunen Kaffe och macka till deltagarna.

Alla är inbjudna att medverka. Anmälan sker till:,, [email protected]

Välkomna tilll Dykningens dag den 30 Maj i Nynäshamn.



Book Your Tickets for the Sport Diver Awards 2015

Sport Diver Awards CeremonyVoting for the prestigious Sport Diver Awards is now open and the excitement is building as Sport Diver, the official publication of the PADI Diving Society, prepares to host one of the biggest dive industry events of the year. Categories from best PADI Instructor to best Overseas Dive Centre will recognise the very people and professionals who make the dive industry so unique and vibrant.

Held on Saturday 24th October 2015, the Sport Diver Awards Ceremony promises to be a great event. The night will be filled with fun, laughter, diving celebrities and awards. Sport Diver EMEA will also be hosting an auction in support of Project AWARE and lots of great prizes will be up for grab!

Cast your votes on the people, products and brands that have made the greatest impact on the dive industry in the last year and get your ticket for the Sport Diver Awards Ceremony now! 10% of the tickets sale will support Project AWARE if bought through this link

Sport Diver AWARDS Ceremony

Get Your Tickets and Support Project AWARE

What else? Wakatobi Dive Resort, the official sponsor of the Sport Diver Awards 2015, has provided an amazing prize, for one of the members of the public that votes: a one-in-a-lifetime trip to the resort in Indonesia and pelagic liveaboard.

To cast your votes, click here. To buy tickets to the Awards Ceremony and support Project AWARE click here.

What Do You Love About the Ocean?

LoveCampaign_TwitterCoverDo something different this Valentine’s Day. Inspire your student divers to protect the underwater world by taking part in the #WhatILoveAbouttheOcean campaign.

Join Project AWARE in celebrating what divers everywhere love about the ocean:

  1. Share your favourite ocean picture on Twitter or Instagram using #WhatILoveAbouttheOcean. Your image will be automatically added to the campaign photo grid.
  2. Don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account? Don’t worry you can still participate by adding your photo directly to the #WhatILoveAbouttheOcean grid. Don’t forget to add a caption!
  3. Make a donation to help protect what you love for future generations.

Project AWARE will spread the love far and wide by featuring some of your best pics to inspire others to love and protect the ocean!

Share your love for the ocean this Valentine’s Day and head to Twitter to tweet your love: This #ValentinesDay I’m celebrating my ❤ for the ocean to inspire others to protect it #WhatILoveAbouttheOcean