If you’re interested in sharks (and what diver isn’t?), then the PADI AWARE Shark Conservation specialty course might be a good fit for you. The Shark Conservation specialty is one of the courses designed by Project AWARE to spread the word about conservation. This course specifically focuses on the oceans’ apex predators.
Why would you take this course?
PADI and Project AWARE designed this course for all certified divers, so if you are already an open-water diver (or equivalent) or above, you can enroll in this course.
This specialty goes over basic facts about sharks, their biology, and then emphasizes conservation issues and threats to sharks, as well as actions we can take to protect them.
What is involved?
The course includes a student manual that offers a lot of information about shark populations and the threats they face. Depending on how your instructor teaches it, you might also join a classroom presentation covering some of these topics. As this is a Project AWARE course, all the materials are freely available on the website. Once you have completed the course, your certification fee goes toward Project AWARE to support their projects.
After covering the theory, your instructor will take you on two open-water dives. Of course, it would be amazing to see some sharks on those dives, but it might not always be the case. However, it’s not crucial to see sharks on these two dives. Instead, you will look at threats and positive impacts on the shark population in the local environment. Doing so will give you a better understanding of things that can have a positive or negative impact on the sharks in your area.
Where do you take the course?
You can take the course anywhere, as you needn’t see sharks on the dives, as mentioned above, to complete the course. You can also link it to your PADI advanced open water course, as the first dive of this specialty can count as one of your adventure dives from your advanced course. This course offers a great way to learn more about sharks, one of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean, and to take some steps toward protecting them.