The contents of your wallet or purse can be very telling:

  • A wallet stuffed with loyalty cards and coupons suggests the owner is a bargain hunter.
  • Someone who only carries an ID may be a minimalist who embraces technology – they use mobile apps instead of credit cards, transit tickets, etc.
  • A traveler carrying foreign currency and a printed version of their itinerary may be headed somewhere with no mobile service and no ATMs.

For divers, the PADI card you carry also says something about you. Some carry their original cert card with a hilariously out-of-date photo, while others use the PADI eCard. Still, others opt for a more personalized version of the certification card, with their favorite photo on the front. But, if you really want to make a statement about your love for the ocean, you may want to carry a PADI AWARE certification card, available for every recreational-level course from Open Water Diver and up.

Start a Conversation about Conservation

This year’s limited-edition certification card features intriguing underwater creatures threatened by human activities. The cards are made from recycled plastic and designed to help you start a conversation about conservation. They’re also available in eCard format.

The 30th Anniversary PADI AWARE Certification Card

It’s PADI AWARE’s 30th anniversary, so this year’s PADI AWARE Card needed to be extra special. After narrowing down the submissions, the AWARE team chose Jay Clue’s photo of Gaia, one of the most famous hammerhead sharks in Bimini, Bahamas. Although his image is captivating and picturesque, the AWARE team is also hoping this card will start a conversation about shark conservation, and hammerheads specifically. For every PADI AWARE certification card that is purchased, USD $10 will be donated to the PADI AWARE foundation. Therefore, by opting for this epic hammerhead photo on the front of your cert card, you’ll be directly helping to save the ocean.

Meet Jay Clue

Jay Clue may call Baja California Sur, Mexico home, but he has a personal history of ocean wildlife encounters that are sure to boggle your mind. His photography and cinematography have captivated ocean lovers around the world.

Jay’s work spans multiple genres of the natural world, from underwater to aerial, wildlife, star-filled night scapes, and conservation photography. When not shooting projects or at the helm of the award-winning Dive Ninja Expeditions, he spends his time teaching photography and conservation workshops.

The Story Behind The Shot

In this photographic, you can see the silhouette of Gaia, a Great Hammerhead shark. And while you might think this is any shark Jay happened across in the wild, Gaia is kind of a celebrity. She’s been migrating annually through Bimini for well over 10 years and has been studied extensively by Bimini Shark Lab, a local non-profit working to protect sharks both locally and globally through research and education. Of course, it helps that Gaia is easily recognizable. She’s huge at about 4 meters (13 feet). Everyone is hopeful that the fact she keeps returning to Bimini year after year means global shark conservation efforts are working.

Every year, Jay Clue takes a small group of divers to Bimini in order to expose them to expose them to the need for increased shark conservation, teach them about current initiatives, and, of course, get in the water with a variety of sharks, from pups to adults. This photograph was taken on one such trip.

Jay adds, “Hammerheads were the first spark of my curiosity into the ocean when I was just a kid. I remember flipping through this beat up, old kids magazine in our school library and turning a page to see this photo of a hammerhead and instantly being drawn in. I can trace back everything I do in the ocean today to that one ignition point. Because of this, Great Hammerheads are one of my favorite species on our planet. And Gaia, to me, is that familiar face—a reminder of that curious kid in the library, where I’ve come from, and what I can accomplish if I work hard.”

Why Hammerheads Need Our Help

The magnificent hammerhead is quite a site to see. They’ve been swimming around our oceans since the dinosaurs and continue to amaze the world to this day.

Hammerhead sharks face numerous threats contributing to their decline in population, including overfishing, habitat destruction and climate change. Essentially, humans are the reason for their decline.

With that said, it’s imperative to be a part of or support marine conservation, which helps protect these amazing creatures. Jay Clue knows how crucial this task is and has dedicated his life to protecting the ocean. He is a shining example of a Torchbearer for the ocean, and you can also pledge your support for marine conservation by becoming a Torchbearer yourself.

What is PADI AWARE Doing for Shark Conservation?

A key mission in the Blueprint for Ocean Action developed by PADI and the PADI AWARE Foundation is the protection of vulnerable species, with a particular focus on sharks and ray. The goal is the reduction of the number of species of sharks and ray threatened with extinction by 25% by 2030.

With the support of the dive community, PADI AWARE is working to drive forward essential conservation measures, such as restrictions on unregulated fishing, the creation of effective marine protected areas and projects to monitor the health of localized populations, in order to prevent the extinction of many shark and ray species.

PADI AWARE has already been instrumental in securing trade and fishery protection for over 50 different species and developing the world’s premier shark conservation dive course. The organization continues to make giant strides through in-country campaigns and global advocacy thanks to their 30 years of experience lobbying for the protection of sharks.

What Does Your PADI Card Say About You?

Your PADI certification card says a lot about you. It screams how long you’ve been diving, your certification level, your ability to grow a massive beard, etc. Although a PADI certification is good for life, you don’t have to use the same certification card (or picture) forever.

Here are a few reasons to order a new PADI card:

  • You’ve Changed Your Name
  • You need/want a back-up card
  • To support PADI AWARE
  • You’re an adult using a Junior Open Water Diver Card*
  • You want an updated photo

Ordering a PADI replacement card is easy; you don’t even need your diver’s number. Just use your name and date of birth to locate your student record online. You can order online here or through your local PADI Dive Center or Resort.

*To replace a Jr. Open Water Diver card, choose the Jr. Open Water certification from your list of certifications. The system will automatically convert your new card to regular (no Jr.) Open Water Diver.

Want to support the ocean and save money at the same time? Join PADI Club to receive one free eCard per year (featuring one of three members-only designs) and to save 25% off a new, physical PADI Card once a year. We’ll also make a donation to PADI AWARE for you. These are just a few of the many benefits of being a member of PADI Club. Click below to explore all the perks!

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