“Today we changed the mindset of 13 Divemasters and 4 Instructors and I know they will be AWARE for the rest of their lives,” said Jens Nielsen Ban’s PADI Staff instructor. It was a memorable day for Jens and fellow instructor Simon from Ban's Diving Resort, Koh Tao, Thailand who taught their first AWARE Shark Conservation course.
With the Big Shark Shout Out just around the corner the AWARE Shark Conservation Diver Distinctive Specialty Course is certainly creating a buzz on the island of Koh Tao.
A morning snorkel at Shark Bay to remove rubbish underwater inspired the divers to get stuck in to shark protection. “We saw a few white tip sharks, but it was overshadowed by the amount of garbage we collected. Maybe this was one of the reasons we didn’t see many sharks,” added Jens.
In the classroom the students watched the Sharkwater movie, a good introduction to the AWARE Shark Conservation Course.
The afternoon dives at Chumphon Pinnacle involved 4 groups of divers each with a “Shark Team Leader.” Here at Barracuda Rock the divers discovered a pinnacle totally covered in fishing nets. With so many fishing nets discarded, divers witnessed how overfishing may have resulted in fewer sharks at this particular dive site.
The teams began the tough job of removing the nets being careful not to destroy the coral. They’ll return in the future to remove more fishing nets. Bans is already planning their next AWARE Shark Conservation Course. A big thank you to Jens and Simon for leading such a fantastic effort. Keep up the awesome work.
“We engaged divers hearts and minds. We firmly agreed there’s no point discussing who’s to blame, but instead it’s much more important to get involved and get other people involved. Together we can be AWARE and make a difference,” said Jens.
Thank you as well to The Film Company for the awesome shark course video!