Happy World Oceans Day! This special day was created not only to celebrate our favorite place – the big blue – but also to raise awareness of the impacts our actions have on it.

Every action we do has an impact on the ocean, and we need the ocean to be healthy in order to survive as a species. We must protect it. As divers, we are so lucky that we can visit the underwater world and understand it better along the way. Every day we have the pleasure of realizing how wonderful it is, and that’s why we are ambassadors for its protection. This World Oceans Day, join our global community of PADI Torchbearers working together to seek adventure and save the ocean. Together, we’re on a mission to achieve a better balance between humanity and the ocean.

Today (and every day) we want to inspire our global PADI community with these deeply thoughtful messages from five renowned ocean conservationists.

andy mann

Andy Mann – Conservation Filmmaker / National Geographic Photographer / Senior Fellow at SeaLegacy

“As conservation storytellers, it is critical that we keep shining a light on our oceans and giving a voice to the voiceless. Because whenever we point our lens into the ocean, allowing beauty and grace to speak on its behalf, someone, somewhere in the world, who would otherwise never get to travel to a place as wild as the open ocean, will now dream of it. To me that’s an incredible honor.”

Follow Andy Mann on Instagram @andy_mann.

shark madison

Madison Stewart (Shark Girl Madison) – Shark Conservationist / Founder of Project Hiu 

“A lot of people speak about their connection with the ocean as ‘beautiful.’ For me the ocean has taken people I love, it’s scared me, it terrifies me. Yet it raised me, it shaped me and it continues to shadow and dictate the movements of my life. It’s worth protecting not because she is amazing, but because she is necessary. The ocean is the mother we all need, and many have turned their back on her.”

Follow Madison Stewart on Instagram @sharkgirlmadison.

titouan bernicot

Titouan Bernicot – Founder & CEO of Coral Gardeners

My story with the ocean started when I was a kid, growing up on a pearl farm in a remote atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago. It has given me everything in my life: the waves I surf, the food I eat and even the oxygen I breathe. We are all connected to the ocean. World Oceans Day is not about saving the ocean, it is about saving ourselves. I want people to experience the wonders of our seas. At Coral Gardeners, we plant corals and we share our passion through beautiful photos and movies. I invite everyone to help us make an impact. It all starts by adopting your coral.”

Follow Titouan Bernicot on Instagram @toutiess.

alex munoz

Alex Muñoz – Pristine Seas Director for Latin America at National Geographic Society

“The ocean provides food, oxygen, climate regulation and livelihoods for billions around the world. But overexploitation and global warming are depleting the ocean. The establishment of marine protected areas where fishing is banned or strictly limited is the best way to recover life in the ocean. They help replenish fisheries around them, increase economic opportunities and build climate resilience.”

Follow Alex Muñoz on Instagram @alexmunozwilson.

Jim Abernethy

Jim Abernethy – Shark Conservationist & Filmmaker / Founder of WildlifeVOICE

“Roughly 50 years ago when I started diving the ocean was alive with a lot more of every single thing, especially sharks. In my area Palm Beach, Florida there used to be scalloped hammerheads in the winter months from the surface to the bottom. There used to be sand tigers on every shipwreck and now they are all gone. We must change what we are doing to the planet if there is any hope for our future. What we do in the next ten years will predicate what the planet looks like for the next ten thousand. It saddens me greatly to think that this is the direction, the unsustainable direction of our planet. We must do better to save what animals we still have left, especially sharks – the controlling factor for the health and balance of our oceans and the heart of our planet.” 

Follow Jim Abernethy on Instagram @jim_abernethy.

Written by @oceanomartina – Environmental journalist & PADI scuba diving instructor.

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