PADI and the PADI AWARE Foundation have launched an initiative known as ‘Adopt The Blue‘, to try and establish more Marine Protected Areas with the support of PADI divers, dive professionals, and ‘ocean torchbearers’.
Over the next decade, the Adopt the Blue initiative will from the underlying basis of PADI’s Blueprint For Ocean Action, the organisation’s programme to extend local conservation efforts to rid the ocean of marine debris, protect of vulnerable species, restore coral reefs tackle the effects of climate change. It is hoped that programme will actively contribute to the global intergovernmental ’30×30′ drive to protect 30 per cent of the oceans by 2030.
‘Our goal is to create 10,000 Adopt The Blue sites by 2025, working with local communities and PADI operators to accelerate local conservation efforts where they are most needed,’ said Danna Moore, Director of PADI AWARE Foundation. ‘Adopt The Blue is supported by PADI MPA Programme founding partner Blancpain, which shares a rich history rooted in the exploration and preservation of the world’s oceans. Together, PADI and Blancpain are committed to establishing the largest inventory of Marine Protected Areas in the world.’
‘Over the years we have been consistently amazed by the passion and readiness of the diving community to take action where and when it’s needed,’ added Moore. ‘With the scale and support of our mission hubs, divers and ocean torchbearers will be able to help countries meet their ocean conservation commitments as well as driving forward the creation of coastal MPAs.’
The programme does not require that the Adopt the Blue sites are dive-able, meaning that PADI dive centres, resorts and instructors who are willing to take on the responsibility for conservation of their chosen location can nominate any underwater site is important to them as a target for adoption.
In order to qualify, the sites should contain a particularly iconic habitat or species, such as mangroves, shallow water seagrass beds, nursery sites, or breeding grounds; or even sites that are of particular economic benefit to local communities.
Once the sites are adopted and listed on the Adopt The Blue platform, PADI AWARE Foundation will coordinate the appropriate local, regional and national conservation efforts.
Since the programme’s launch on 1 June until the time of writing (15 June), 306 sites covering an area of approximately 3,560sq km have been adpoted, as shown in the map below (click to open the interactive version on the PADI AWARE website. For more information about the programme and to get involved, visit www.padi.com/aware/AdoptTheBlue/Join.