Blue Ventures is now a ‘100% AWARE Partner’ with Project AWARE, a fellow global non-profit organisation which empowers thousands of ocean adventurers around the world to work together for a clean, healthy and abundant ocean. As a 100% AWARE Partner, Blue Ventures is committed to making a donation towards ocean protection on behalf of every volunteer that learns to dive on a Blue Ventures expedition.
What impact will the partnership have?
The donations contributed by Blue Ventures will support two of Project AWARE’s key programmes. Firstly, their Clean Ocean programme, which involves collecting data and removing debris while supporting policy efforts to address long-term solutions. Secondly, their Healthy Ocean programme which currently focuses on safeguarding some of the world’s most vulnerable shark and ray species through stopping overfishing and advocating for science-based conservation measures.
Aside from these donations, the overarching aim of the partnership will be to raise awareness of the importance of marine protection amongst those who spend time directly within the precious underwater environment – scuba divers. For Blue Ventures, this means ensuring that volunteers on our expeditions carry Project AWARE’s philosophy and practises with them in their future diving and ocean exploration endeavours. All Blue Ventures’ volunteers receiving dive training will now receive a Project AWARE Limited Edition PADI® certification card, reminding them of their ongoing responsibility and commitment to protect marine environments when diving around the world.
To further the partnership, Blue Ventures is now committed to implementing Project AWARE’s flagship citizen-science programme Dive Against Debris® across our sites. In addition to our research dives, expedition volunteers will also take part in debris data collection surveys which serve a dual purpose of improving the health of underwater ecosystems by removing harmful waste, whilst also logging data about debris in the ocean to effect policy change. As the data is collected, Blue Ventures’ dive sites will appear on the Dive Against Debris map, forming pieces of a global puzzle which highlights the pressing need to stop the ugly journey of our trash at source.
“Blue Ventures’ commitment to the 100% AWARE programme demonstrates to their expedition volunteers, learning to dive as part of the experience, the importance of making their scuba diving adventures count for global ocean conservation” says Danna Moore, Project AWARE Global Operations Director. “We welcome Blue Ventures’ initiative to add Dive Against Debris® to the underwater citizen science activities that expedition volunteers can participate in. Marine debris data collected by Blue Ventures volunteers will come a long way towards filling a data gap and building a skilled army of debris activists.”
Why Blue Ventures?
Project AWARE shares Blue Ventures’ belief in the power of collaborative partnerships, particularly when both partners are working towards a similar goal – to look after the marine environment and to be sustainable in the ways in which we achieve this.
No matter where in the world, diving provides a precious opportunity to monitor and gather data about the health of our interconnected oceans. Project AWARE’s mission embodies this opportunity, utilising divers as ocean ambassadors and making ‘every dive a survey dive’. As a marine conservation charity whose volunteers spend a lot of time beneath the surface, we share this belief in the importance of diving with purpose.
Since 2003, Blue Ventures has been hosting multi-award winning marine conservation expeditions in Belize, Madagascar and Timor-Leste. These expeditions act as a stepping-stone for our conservation initiatives, whilst also enabling us to offer unforgettable diving experiences in some of the world’s most biodiverse hotspots. All volunteers are trained to PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW) or equivalent, with others continuing their dive training on site to reach up to professional PADI Divemaster level. This enables them to play a crucial role in Blue Ventures’ marine conservation mission by participating in underwater surveys and contributing to vital scientific research every time they dive.
Both Blue Ventures and Project AWARE are organisations that understand the benefits of using rigorous scientific data to inform conservation goals. Blue Ventures trains grassroots communities to record, share and use data on their fisheries to increase their visibility in national decision-making. Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris community which is over 50,000 strong, has been removing, mapping and analysing ocean plastic in more than 114 countries since 2011.
As the first NGO to become a 100% AWARE Partner, Blue Ventures are hugely excited to be combining our marine conservation minds and working together to protect and preserve our oceans.
Sarah Harris, Head of Operations for Blue Ventures Expeditions said, “Our organisations share a passion for preserving the ocean’s interconnected ecosystems for future generations. Blue Ventures and Project AWARE’s partnership makes sense, we both use data to drive forward global marine conservation efforts and want those who love the ocean to take an active role in stewarding its survival.”
If you’re interested in joining a Blue Ventures marine conservation expedition in Belize, Madagascar or Timor-Leste you can find out more here. Or you can download our volunteer guide for an in depth overview of what to expect as a marine conservation volunteer.