As we turn the page on 2012, we celebrate what we’ve achieved this year and take a look at your ocean wishes for the future. With a movement of AWARE divers one million strong - we’ll continue to elevate solutions for the ocean worldwide.
During 2012 alone, you've removed more than 40,000kgs of trash from the ocean. You supported the creation of the world’s largest network of marine parks in Australia, launched innovative Ocean Action Projects globally and collected 120,000 signatures to protect sharks and rays. You even helped us put an end to shark finning in Europe. What an amazing year! What’s your wish for the ocean?
This November Blue Guru Conservation, Thailand, launched their Ocean Action Project to campaign for expanded and strengthened "no fishing" zones in Surin & Similan National Parks. They topped off a great year with their first Finathon to raise funds for Project AWARE's global campaign against shark finning. “My ocean wish is that we soon see the effective action required to preserve whale sharks, manta rays and turtles in Thailand's National Marine Parks. These endangered species face threats from the fishing industry and marine debris and effective conservation action is required before it is too late. For several years Blue Guru has led eco-education programs to raise divers' awareness about turtle and shark conservation and we continue to do so with a Manta Ray specialty planned for 2013,” said Helen Macnee, Blue Guru Conservation.
If you’re not directly involved with grassroots conservation you can still take action. Concerned about coral reefs, Carly Winner, age 15, Wisconsin, USA, presented at her local school to inspire fellow students. “I live in Wisconsin and everyday I wish I was at the beach scuba diving. Being a scuba diver changed my whole perspective on the ocean,” said Carly.
“I wish more people cared for our reefs. I want people to understand that if the reefs die, we can pretty much say goodbye to the ocean. I want everyone to understand how serious this is and as divers, we need to do our part and keep these corals healthy and strong. Get the word out, donate, volunteer, do anything you can to help our reefs. Think of the turtles, fish, rays, eels, sharks, and all the other marine life out there calling for your help. We are the voice to these voiceless animals and they are just screaming for our help,” said Carly.
What’s your ocean wish this holiday season? Add your inspiration to our Facebook Ocean Wish page or if you have a vision for a clean, healthy and abundant ocean planet, please consider a gift.PADI will match your donation for the ocean - dollar for dollar - up to $20,000 by December, 31st2012.
“I wish for a sustainable ocean ecosystem. I love sharks and I’d do anything in my power to have a sustainable ocean ecosystem. As a dive instructor, I really feel it’s my responsibility to do as much as I can to protect our ocean,”Jack Power, Western Australia.
"Our ocean wish is to make every human being aware the vault of treasure and wonder our ocean is and how important the welfare of the ocean is for the welfare of everybody and everything on this planet. Love and protect the ocean; you'll love and protect your family, your friends, yourself and all life on Earth," said Janne Aihos, Bali Hai Diving, Indonesia.
“I wish for my grandsons to have the same access to ocean life in the future that I’ve been privileged to experience. It’s my wish to see our children view the ocean as a wondrous resource, one to look after and nurture instead of one to exploit. I truly believe we are dependent on the ocean for our existence on this planet. I support Project AWARE for my family and my family of divers. It really is that simple.” Russell Krogh, Deep Blue Quest, Korea.