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Shark and Ray Vulnerable Species Program

Reduce the number of sharks and rays threatened with extinction by 25%.



The Threat: Sharks and Rays Under Siege

Over a third of all known shark and ray species are facing an increased risk of extinction, making them the second most vulnerable group of animals on the planet. Populations are continuously impacted by overfishing, loss of critical habitats, climate change and pollution. Immediate action to prevent extinctions is needed to protect sharks and rays that play a vital role in many countries' economies, as well as helping secure food security, functioning ecosystems and cultural heritage.



Help save sharks by supporting the
Global Shark & Ray Census

To combat this ocean emergency, PADI AWARE is proud to introduce the Global Shark & Ray Census, a global citizen science program that aims to monitor shark and ray populations and to ensure they are protected from extinction. Both divers and non-divers will be able to collect sightings data on the species they encounter, or take part in monitoring sites to track population trends. The data will undergo rigorous scientific analysis and will be used to ensure vulnerable species of sharks and rays have adequate protection to ensure healthy populations.




Help Save Sharks and Rays

Current campaigns and opportunities for Ocean Torchbearers





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Protect what you love. Become an Ocean Torchbearer.

Join the community helping to protect global shark and ray populations.



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Increased Protection Measures for Over 100 Species

Protecting sharks and rays is at the heart of PADI Aware Foundation's history and community. To date, we have collectively helped secure protection measures for over 100 vulnerable species ranging through policy changes such as agreed fishing limits to restrictions in unsustainable trade. PADI AWARE will continue to provide tangible actions to protect hundreds more with your help.



PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action:
Protect Vulnerable Species

PADI AWARE, with the support of the dive community, are in a unique position to drive forward essential conservation measures to help prevent shark and ray extinctions. Through our Blueprint for Ocean Action we can minimize population declines through restrictions on unregulated fishing, effective marine protected areas and monitoring the health of local shark and ray populations.



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Blueprint Conservation Target and Strategy

Target: Reduce the number of species of sharks and rays threatened with extinction by 25% by 2030.
(1) Collaborate with locally based PADI operators and Ocean Torchbearers to protect native shark and ray populations.
(2) Launch the Global Shark & Ray Census to collect information on the populations of sharks and rays encountered by divers.



PADI Divers Come Together to Reach Landmark Win at CITES

Together with you - the amazing and passionate dive community - we have already helped to add 51 species of shark and ray to CITES, including the oceanic whitetip shark, smooth hammerhead shark and giant manta ray.

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Community Story
Brazil and South Africa Mako Campaign

“Mako sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, especially in the North Atlantic, where we have seen populations decline severely. It is currently estimated that the shark population will take 50 years to fully recover if fishing bans were implemented today,” says Ian Campbell, Associate Director, Policy and Campaigns of PADI AWARE Foundation. “By working directly with PADI Members to raise awareness of the issue with the diving community, we aim to encourage governmental support of mako shark protections in the Atlantic.”

Our Founding Partner

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Blancpain: Official Partner of the PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action and Founding Partner of the Global Shark & Ray Census

PADI is proud to work alongside Swiss prestige watchmaker, Blancpain, on the preservation of the underwater world. Thanks to Blancpain’s support of the Vulnerable Species Program, divers will be able to participate in the AWARE Global Shark & Ray Census, the largest underwater citizen science program designed to protect sharks and rays from extinction. PADI and Blancpain are collaborating on a long-term partnership aimed at increasing the number of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the globe. As a founding partner of PADI’s Blueprint for Ocean Action, Blancpain accelerated the creation of PADI’s MPA Program and its flagship citizen science program Adopt the Blue™.