As most of you are aware, we are passionate about Marine Conservation and have always been very active in various programs to combat the ever growing threats to our marine environment. As Managing Director and PADI Platinum Course Director at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures, I regularly conduct marine conservation programs with the Downbelow team and implement marine conservation activities and talks to our guests in our programs. One issue we have battled tirelessly against is Discarded Fishing Nets with over 200 Dive Against Debris Net Removal conducted by our team over the last decade all at our own cost. These are one of the biggest challenges we face in the local area and ghost nets are hugely destructive. Nets are not biodegradable so it continues to ensnare creatures for a lifetime as they catch innocent marine life that in turn baits the trap for other predators so the cycle of death is continuous. In addition the reef is smothered and will quickly die off completely.
The new Dive Against Debris course released by Project AWARE is a great example of how divers can get involved and take action to defend and protect the environment we all love so much while still having fun! I always say the very best dives are the ones where we feel we as divers have helped give something back.
With another discarded net reported by our team, I took the opportunity to integrate training with my latest PADI Specialty Instructor candidate Hamza who recently completed his PADI Instructor Development Course with resident PADI Course Director Pablo and has stayed on to reach his MSDT level.
Hamza from Pakistan has particularly impressed me with his knowledge and passion for marine conservation and his desire to find realistic solutions to the problems his local area faces.
Our industry needs people such as Hamza which is why we at Downbelow PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre encourage conservation education so passionately and suggest all PADI Instructor Development Course candidates try to continue their education and gain at the very least one or two distinctive Project AWARE specialty instructor levels which will not only assist to improve employment opportunities and job satisfaction for the PADI Pro but also spread the conservation education message so badly needed in our society.
Needless to say this net has been safely removed by our team we were also assisted by some of our fun divers so big thanks to everyone as together we can make a difference!
Downbelow Managing Director & PADI Platinum Course Director