Advancing the PADI Mission for the benefit of people and planet.

Our Mission: Create a billion PADI Torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean.

Our approach to protecting the ocean is built upon our long and enduring legacy as stewards of the underwater world we love. As the world’s largest ever network of divers, dive centers and dive instructors, we have a tremendous opportunity to mobilize millions of PADI Torchbearers – like you – to save the ocean planet.

The PADI community, together with our key partners in conservation – AWARE, are uniquely positioned to play an influential role in the global effort to create a more sustainable future and we are committed to creating solution-based initiatives with lasting impact. Despite the turmoil imposed by the global pandemic, where possible, PADI Divers are safely continuing (or beginning again) to explore and protect our shared ocean.


The mako shark is the fastest shark in the ocean. Unfortunately, it’s also the posterchild for overfishing in the Atlantic. Aside from the well-publicized issue of shark finning, commercial fishing and associated bycatch threatens shark populations significantly more. According to Seaspiracy, more than 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed each year as bycatch; 30,000 sharks are killed every hour; and 250,000 sea turtles are injured or killed (in the U.S. alone).

PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation have a proud history of combating overfishing at the international policy level, having helped secure international protection measures and policies for over two-dozen vulnerable shark and ray species. Currently, we are fighting to protect mako sharks in the Atlantic, through our #MakeTime4Makos campaign.

Back in August 2019, the dive community made its considerable voice heard during debates over listing mako sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the global convention to limit the trade on endangered species. While the CITES listing for makos won overwhelming support, several of the same Parties have not yet aligned their ICCAT position for makos with the scientific advice. The list of countries supporting science-based limits for endangered Atlantic makos has been growing, and the recreational dive community is gearing up to push governments that have yet to make their positions public.

How You Can Help:

PADI AWARE Foundation is working with PADI dive operators in South Africa and Brazil to engage divers in highlighting conservation issues for shark species, regardless of how often they’re encountered by divers underwater. If you’re based in either of these countries, you can get involved by taking an AWARE Shark Conservation course and taking photos with the #MakeTime4Makos flag. If you’re not, you can support the efforts by signing the petition and tweeting, tagging and/or writing to your representative with this toolkit.

Green Fins Diver Etiquette

Increasingly (and quite rightly), we’re all being encouraged to adopt and promote positive environmental actions within our diving networks… But with our oceans facing threats left right and center, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Luckily, Green Fins provides the only internationally recognized environmental standards for marine tourism. If you’ve seen the code of conduct, you might have noted that it outlines environmental standards for operators, dive staff and divers. But how do divers begin to start translating that into everyday action?

PADI and the Reef-World Foundation joined forces to promote sustainable diving practices for the protection of the marine environment and reduce threats to one of the world’s most valuable ecosystems: coral reefs. Our shared vision is to make sustainable diving and snorkeling the social norm, achieving this through the implementation of the Green Fins initiative – in partnership with the UN Environment Programme.

How You Can Help:

The Green Fins icons poster offers an easy snapshot of the key do’s and don’ts of environmental best practice for divers and snorkelers. By adopting these standards and applying them when selecting dive shops to dive with and actually diving, you are making a huge difference in raising the environmental standards of our entire industry.

Don’t underestimate the power of the individual. As conservation icon and founder of our partner organization Mission Blue explains:

“Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something,”
― Sylvia Earle

We Are One Ocean 30×30

One million species are at risk of extinction within our lifetime, more than ever before in human history. This is because of changes to our climate, how we use and develop land, and how we take resources from land and sea. In the ocean, we’re also overfishing, polluting and mining for resources in ways that damage the places plants and animals need to live.

We can reduce stresses on the ocean by creating MPAs, or Marine Protected Areas, which are like national parks on land, but in ocean or coastal areas. Protecting important areas – like coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangrove swamps or the breeding areas of endangered species and fish we rely on for food – will allow the ocean to continue to sustain us and help everything living in it adapt better to climate change.

How You Can Help:

In 2021, the United Nations will set goals for protecting life on the planet over the next decade. Together with the global surf and sailing communities, we’re asking them to fully and highly protect 30% of the global ocean by 2030. Through the Torchbearer Community, engaging content and global reach, we can convert our passion for the ocean into purpose and save the ocean for ourselves and future generations of PADI Divers. Sign the petition at

Dive Against Debris

Dive Against Debris is AWARE’s flagship citizen-science program, empowering scuba divers to remove marine debris from the ocean and report data on the types, quantities, and locations of materials collected. As the only underwater debris data collection program of its kind, Dive Against Debris both improves the health of ocean ecosystems through localized volunteer efforts and provides valuable information about underwater debris to help inform policy change.

Since the program’s launch in 2011, more than 86,000 divers have participated in Dive Against Debris in 120 countries around the world, reporting over 1.8 million pieces of trash, highlighting geographical distribution, hotspots, changes that have occurred over time and marine animal entanglement.

The PADI AWARE Foundation community is building an increasingly comprehensive global dataset that can be used to help inform effective prevention measures to stop further debris entering the ocean… and thus helping to reduce ecosystem degradation. Through Dive Against Debris®, PADI AWARE Foundation has data regarding the types of debris items found in the marine environment as well as debris-free sites which can be used to highlight where management should be prioritized.

In collaboration with Ocean Conservancy (largest global dataset of beach debris) and CSIRO (Commonwealth of Scientific and Industrial Research Organization – world leaders in marine debris research), we devised the first quantitative analysis of global marine debris form land and sea sources: A global assessment of the relationship between anthropogenic debris on land and the seafloor (click to open).

How You Can Help:

Once reported, your Dive Against Debris data enters a global database to help support the development and implementation of policies to improve solid waste management, locally and globally. You can also report your data via your smartphone.

Download the free Dive Against Debris app from Google Play or iTunes and turn your phone into a tool for conservation.

Want to support continued efforts? Join the community of Torchbearers at and consider donating to AWARE. All of this work is made possible by generous donors like you.

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