“Change comes when people care, and there are no better messengers to communicate the beauty and fragility of the ocean than divers, who have a direct, emotional connection to the ocean,” said Dr Earle, who heads the Mission Blue movement that formally linked up with PADI earlier this year.

The partnership aims to ignite support for enhanced marine-protection in a network of locations.

It is hoping to encourage divers to make an impact during and after their dives by collecting and broadcasting their observations, whether scientific or not, as well as connecting with local conservation efforts and best practices.

“We don’t get to live in an ideal world, we live in this one,” said Richardson. “Training one million new divers each year across the planet, PADI has the reach and influence to mobilise divers to be citizen-activists.

“The diving community can be a powerful change agent that can engage in strategic alliances, have a strong voice and get involved in real solutions to mitigate the problems that threaten our ocean planet.”

Find out more about PADI's Pillars of Change initiative here and Mission Blue here.

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