With clear waters and rocky scenery, Malta and Gozo, the beautiful southern European islands in the Mediterranean Sea, boast some of the best diving in Europe. They also boast some of the most passionate and dedicated AWARE divers and shark activists. From running a marathon to Diving Against Debris to support Project AWARE’s global campaigns - Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris - no challenges are too small for Malta’s dive community.
In November 2013, Orsi Fulop, Project AWARE Development and Outreach Coordinator, visited 100% AWARE Partners and dive centres, and participated in a PADI Member Forum to share our 2014 conservation goals with dive leaders. “We’re grateful and proud of the fantastic work they are doing with their volunteer divers and customers to protect Malta's beautiful waters and support our global campaigns” she commented.
Thanks to everyone involved with AWARE conservation in Malta and Gozo. Check out these four fundraising challenges to get inspired:
SharkLab Malta Takes the Finathon Challenge
Sharklab Malta, a non-profit voluntary organisation dedicated to research, education and raising greater awareness about all Elasmobranch (Sharks, Rays, Skates and Chimaeras) around Malta and within the Mediterranean, have many dedicated members that volunteer their time and knowledge to educate the community about Malta's sharks, skates and rays. Like us at Project AWARE, they are FINatical about saving sharks! To raise funds for Project AWARE’s global Finathon challenge, the SharkLab Team will swim from Malta to Gozo on 1st September.
The swim to Gozo is an impressive 5.5km in distance. To support Team SharkLab Malta Finathon challenge go to: finathon.org/team/sharklabmalta
The Marine Debris Challenge
Steve Watkinson, Resorts Manager of H2O Divers and Project AWARE’s 100% AWARE partner instructor is raising funds to stop marine debris – the ocean’s silent killer. Like Bubbles Dive Centre and many others in Malta, Steve is taking action to tackle the marine debris problem and raise awareness about the harm and negative impact litter can have on the marine and coastal environment. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive, a key European policy initiative that has been in development for several years, requests of Malta and all other EU Member States to develop and implement measures and monitoring programmes aimed at reducing marine litter and assessing the state of health of the marine environment to reach or maintain “Good Environmental Status” by 2020. The Dive Against Debris programme not only helps sensitize and educate the public about our responsibilities towards our environment, but more importantly it promotes the concept of citizen science and contributes data to show the underwater perspective of this global issue. To support H2O Divers Dive Against Debris challenge, visit their fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/stephen-watkinson/
Project AWARE’s 100% AWARE Partner, Bubbles Dive Centre in Marsalforn conducts regular Dive Against Debris surveys removing marine litter on every dive but on Saturday, 26 July 2014, two members of their team took on a new challenge: a sponsored run around the island of Gozo! Sean Cooper, Divemaster and Luke Kidney, Divemaster Trainee, ran the equivalent of a marathon: 42km to show their passion for our cause. David Hayler-Montague, owner of Bubbles Dive Centre said “Our dive centre is committed to improving the marine environment for everyone and this is a central theme of our training programmes. It is wonderful to see our team embrace this philosophy. Their efforts are truly outstanding and we are very proud of them”. If you would like to sponsor Sean and Luke please go to: www.justgiving.com/lukeseanbubblesrun
Project Malta Run
Preps for more running are underway, this time a 20.5 miles run from Cirkewwa ferry terminal to Benghajsa in Malta! Jennifer Dunn is currently working towards a fitness instructor qualification. She was introduced to scuba diving by her boyfriend and fell in love with the underwater world. “Why not combine my passion for fitness and running, and new love of diving to help raise awareness of the need for more underwater conservation.” Project Malta Run was born. Jennifer is hoping to be the first to do this run and needs all your support. For more information about Project Malta Run, visit Jennifer’s fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/Project-Malta-Run
And yet another Finathon challenge is in the making so stay tuned for more updates on Malta’s passion for ocean conservation and the latest updates about these fundraising activities.
Keep up the great work Malta! Together we’re making a difference locally and globally.