PADI specialties: conservation minded diving

Conservation through further education

Can you imagine exploring the vibrant, mysterious depths of the underwater world, while actively contributing to its preservation? As scuba divers, we have a unique opportunity to become ambassadors of conservation, championing the protection of our oceans and marine life! PADI specialties are designed to expand and improve on our diving knowledge and skills, as well as our understanding of the marine environment and conservation efforts. Today, we want to highlight these specialties. They will not only improve our diving abilities but also actively engage us in environmental conservation efforts. Let’s dive into how these specialties can empower us as divers to become proactive supporters of conservation efforts while pursuing our passion for diving.

Peak Performance Buoyancy

Fine-tune your buoyancy and dive unnoticed in the underwater world. This specialty will perfect your buoyancy control and that’s what will make you stand out from the crowd. You will learn to be a more relaxed observer of aquatic life without disturbing the surroundings.

Some might say that buoyancy is the toughest skill to master as a diver. Whether you’re a newly qualified open water diver or have been diving for years and want to improve your diving skills further – this specialty is for you! Mastering your buoyancy is key to being a responsible, comfortable, and confident diver. It will ensure your dives last longer too.

During two ocean dives with one of our PADI professionals, you will work on your streamline, trim, conduct weight checks, hover (in different positions), finning techniques, practicing breath control, and so on.

Fish Identification

Are you one of those divers who starts looking in the fish ID books right after a dive? Then the PADI Fish ID Specialty is a perfect fit for you! This AWARE specialty will introduce you to identifying the different marine species and understand their ecological roles. This will allow you to foster a greater appreciation for the delicate balance of marine ecosystems.

The Caribbean Sea boasts a wide variety of charismatic aquatic life in all kinds of shapes, colors and sizes. “What was that fish?” is a common question heard after a dive. If you want to be the scuba diver with the answers instead of the questions, this is your course! You’ll enjoy your dives on Bonaire so much more when you can recognize the creatures you see.

During two ocean dives with one of our PADI professionals, you will learn to categorize fish by placing them in appropriate family groups, record fish sightings on a slate with their abundance and habitat information, sketch/photograph unfamiliar fish and identify them after the dive using a field guide, learn different hand signals for common reef fish as well as responsible diving practices to minimize negative environmental effects.

Lionfish Hunter

Did you know that one of the biggest conservation threats worldwide is invasive species? In Bonaire, we have the alien lionfish that is taking over our reefs. It has no natural enemies here so us divers need to take matters into our own hands. You can help out by taking the PADI Lionfish Hunter distinctive specialty.

This course was established in order to address the alarming numbers of invasive lionfish on Bonaire, and to allow passionate divers to be involved in saving the reef

During two ocean dives, you learn about the anatomy of the Lionfish, and you practice buoyancy skills, do shooting practice with artificial targets and learn how to hunt lionfish without damaging the reef, using tools and techniques approved by STINAPA, Bonaire’s National Parks Foundation. 

This is a great distinctive specialty card to add to your collection. And more importantly, you will contribute to keeping our reefs healthy!

*Hunting lionfish is only allowed under strict rules, and the only legal option to hunt lionfish on Bonaire is through a dive operator and using marine park authorized spears.

Reef Renewal Diver

What about giving back to the oceans through supporting coral restoration? Well, then the Reef Renewal Diver distinctive specialty is what you need! Learn about the importance of coral reef conservation, restoration techniques, as well as what it takes to maintain a coral nursery over 3 training dives and classroom sessions. You will have the opportunity to participate in all the activities that need to be carried out on the nurseries and on the restoration sites, too!

This three dive course includes nursery and restoration site maintenance by conducting a survey, cleaning, and removing algae and predators. These can damage the corals and affect their growth. You will also learn about pruning, tying, and tagging the coral fragments, that are hung in the nursery trees. Last but not least you will be involved in outplanting the mature corals onto the reef to ensure their growth in the actual reef system. This course also qualifies you to join the volunteer program with Reef Renewal Bonaire!

Building stronger environmental awareness

One of the essential aspects of all these PADI specialties is fostering environmental awareness among divers.

The different specialties are focused on educating about the state of the world’s aquatic ecosystems. They will provide you with practical strategies for reducing your impact on the environment in and out of the water. This knowledge turns divers into aware citizens making us take more informed choices in our everyday lives. It encourages us to spread awareness among our peers.

Becoming new ambassadors of conservation through PADI specialties

Armed with knowledge and skills, divers who undertake PADI specialties have the opportunity to become ambassadors of conservation. As a volunteer, you can actively participate in conservation programs that strive to protect and restore marine habitats. By dedicating your time and skills, you will play a crucial role in supporting these initiatives and inspiring others to take action.

You will have the tools and knowledge to contribute to a variety of conservation programs. Such as coral reef restoration, lionfish hunting, marine debris cleanup, and citizen science projects. These hands-on experiences will allow you to witness the impact of human activities on the underwater world firsthand. They will also motivate you to advocate for change and spread the message of conservation with your fellows.

By sharing your experiences and knowledge as an AWARE diver you can inspire fellow divers to become environmentally conscious and engage them in sustainable diving practices. 

Don’t think twice and become an active part of marine conservation by earning one of the several PADI specialties that we offer here at Beyond The Corals. We are waiting for you!