Reducing your plastic waste will create healthier ocean habitats and cleaner air for all.

This isn’t an article about diving with whales, it’s an article about saving them. You may consider ramping up your support for a healthy whale population because these gentle giants play a vital role in the marine ecosystem where they help provide at least half of the oxygen we breathe, combat climate change, and sustain fish stocks.

Whales play a critical role in providing nutrients to phytoplankton. As the base of the marine food web, phytoplankton is a key component in sustaining fish stocks and as they take in C02, phytoplankton sequester hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon each year, helping to fight climate change.

(Still want to encounter PADI’s List of Top Whale Diving experiences? People protect what they love, so be sure to share your encounters with others so they are inspired to save whales too.)

Every February, we celebrate World Whale Day to rally support for the protection of whales and to remind everyone of the role they play in keeping our world in balance. And although we have seen increases in many species due to ongoing efforts to protect them, whales have had to contend with a growing threat to their populations – plastic pollution.

At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year and more than 250 million tons of plastic are estimated to cloudy our waters by 2025. It’s difficult to wrap our heads around how much plastic that really is and even harder to stomach (pun intended) how much of this debris ends up ingested by whales and other marine creatures, usually resulting in death-by-starvation.

Around the world, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year when they become trapped in plastic or eat it, mistaking it as food. It is one of biggest threats to all whales and dolphins occurring throughout the world’s oceans.

We are calling on all PADI Divers, members of the Torchbearer Community and all underwater explorers to reduce plastic use and help create a healthier ocean planet for all.

As divers we can Dive with a Purpose – participating in a Dive Against Debris and submitting a survey every time we dive. For almost three decades, divers have been partners in the fight against marine debris, but since 2011, they have taken their actions for a debris free ocean to the next level by recording and reporting to Project AWARE® marine debris found on the sea floor.  Divers are adding the unique underwater perspective to this global crisis through the AWARE Dive Against Debris® citizen science program and collecting evidence to inform measures that can stop the problem at source.

The Dive Against Debris surveys submitted by divers around the world, online or via the dedicated App, into Project AWARE’s global dataset have a cumulative impact. Every survey counts towards providing quantitative data, and an accurate perspective about underwater marine debris, that policy-makers simply cannot ignore. Moreover, through the Dive Against Debris App, debris activists have reported and aided over 11,289 entangled or dead marine animals.

This World Whale Day, turn your passion into purpose and make a personal pledge to reduce the amount of plastics that you use of everyday and replace with eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible. Whether it’s saving the whales or protecting something else you love, we can all make an impact by standing up for what we love.

To sign up for the AWARE Dive Against Debris Program, contact your local dive center or visit the Project AWARE website to learn more about becoming a debris activist.

Gear that Gives Back to Whales

We’re raising money to help Project AWARE keep the seas plastic free – and these majestic creatures healthy. 20% of the proceeds from the tees and totes from the limited edition whale collection will be donated to Project AWARE, PADI’s primary partner in conservation.


You have the unique opportunity to learn more about the intelligence and emotions of these gentle, giant creatures up close and personal with a free viewing of the film, Whale Wisdom, the winner of the 2020 IOFF Wildlife Award. The footage features unique images captured by leading Emmy-award winning filmmaker Rick Rosenthal.


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