Conserving the world's oceans
Driving our business is the desire to protect the world’s marine habitats. The oceans are key to our children’s future on the planet: they produce 70% of our oxygen, provide us with crucial food and resources, store potentially harmful carbon, and regulate our climate. And yet…
- 5.25 trillion plastic particles, weighing a total of 268,940 tons, are now afloat in the oceans
- More than 35% of the world’s mangroves are already gone
- We have already lost 27% of the planet’s coral reefs
- At the current rate of destruction, a further 60% of reefs will die over the next 30 years
- Roughly 29% of all historic seagrass meadows have been destroyed and, every year, at least 1.5 percent more are lost
United Nations Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
Protecting endangered marine species
As marine environments are destroyed, so are the many species that inhabit them:
- Over just 40 years there has been a 39% recorded decrease in marine species
- The hawksbill, loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley and green sea turtle are now all classified as either endangered or critically endangered species
- South East Asia’s coral reefs - 34% of the world's total - are home to over 600 of the 800 reef-building coral species in the world, and yet in Indonesia and the Philippines alone, you will find 80% of the world’s endangered reefs
- From the steller’s sea cow, which was literally eaten to extinction 27 years after Europeans discovered it, to the soon-to-become extinct ‘vaquita’, the world’s smallest cetacean, mankind continues to exceed the oceans’ ability to self-replenish
Within ten years Orca Scuba will be a worldwide authority on responsible diving and sustainability, and will be the driving force behind a global conservation programme.
We will own and run an international network of dive operations, all dedicated to delivering the highest standards in diving. Each dive centre will commit to protecting and restoring the world’s marine ecosystems, giving our customers and stakeholders the chance to make a difference. We will devise, launch and run a programme of conservation projects, including sea grass planting, reef clean-ups and replacement, plus education courses, which our customers can participate in as they dive.
In addition, we will audit and certify dive operators around the world. For a fee, those that conform to our standards in quality, safety and sustainability will become ‘Orca accredited partners’. They will benefit from our reputation, group marketing campaigns and customer referrals.
Our path to making a difference will be to:
- Engage with, and activate, a network of successful, influential people who dive
- Launch projects that enable those people to participate and make a difference
- Inspire others to do the same
- Get buy-in from leading academics to increase credibility and focus
- Create a formal ‘Orca conservation manifesto’ with specific ecology goals, activities, budgets and deliverables
- Approach corporate and government sponsors for support
- Assemble project teams and resources, and look for opportunities to collaborate
"Hats off to the Orca for environmental efforts as well. I hope more and more dive companies will follow their example in trying to keep seas and beaches clean!"
Putting our money where our mouth is
Every PADI dive course we teach, from beginner and children's courses all the way up to professional courses, contains an element of conservation. But far from making our courses dry or overly serious, the reaction from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive.
"The passion for the environment, sustainability and responsible behaviour transpired on all fronts, promoting awareness amongst youngsters in a fun way. The whole group of children had a blast while learning a lot."
Our founder, Jeroen, feels so passionately about the marine environment that he wrote a book on the subject. He spends much of his time speaking at conferences and schools across Asia, encouraging people not just to take notice, but to take action.