Watches & rum to help PADI save the ocean 

Boosting the number of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world is the declared mission of training agency PADI and the oldest of watchmakers Blancpain, as they join forces on a campaign of co-operation with local communities. 

According to the new partners their “multi-year, multi-million-dollar initiative” will revolve around a citizen-science programme called Adopt the Blue. PADI says that its 6,600 dive-centres and resorts will be activated to develop the world’s biggest network of MPAs, so that millions of its recreational divers can engage in marine conservation at every opportunity.

Meanwhile a “Blancpain/PADI Community Grant” will provide funding to drive both ocean preservation and indigenous community support.

“Blancpain and PADI have rich histories rooted in exploration and ocean conservation, inspiring both organisations to become powerful catalysts of planetary change,” says Drew Richardson, PADI Worldwide’s president and CEO.  

Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms is claimed to be the original modern diving watch
Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms is claimed to be the original modern diving watch

“Protecting our oceans is not only core to our ethos, but critical for our very survival. The world must pull together to stem the urgent crisis in our ocean and we have an immense opportunity to bring about change.” 

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Founded in Switzerland back in 1735, Blancpain claims that its Fifty Fathoms timepiece, introduced almost 70 years ago, was the first modern diver’s watch. The company says it has co-financed 21 major scientific expeditions and already helped to extend the existing MPA surface area.

“We’re extremely proud of the role we’ve played in advancing global marine-protection efforts,” says Blancpain president and CEO Marc A Hayek, “and we are thrilled to be collaborating with PADI – and its community of divers – to bring about even more positive change.” 

Drinking deep

Also with marine conservation in mind, The Kraken Rum has launched a limited-edition bottle of its spiced black rum, promising to donate £1 from every sale to the PADI Aware charity. 

This is the second bottle from the UK brand’s “Unknown Deep” limited-edition series, described as “devilishly embossed with an ominous bioluminescence and contained within its own distressed diving cage… a tribute to the brave explorers who risked life and limb by plunging to the very darkest depths to haul these mysterious bioluminescent bottles to the e-shelves.” 

Caged: The Kraken Rum’s latest special edition - Black Spiced Rum
Caged: The Kraken Rum’s latest special edition

If you feel the need for the full back-story, check out The Kraken Rum’s imaginative website. PADI Aware operations co-ordinator Ian Amos explains that: “The Kraken Rum has a rich history of supporting marine life, from the smallest sea critters to the biggest sea-dwellers, so we’re proud to be working together once again to save and protect the ocean. 

“Every single bottle sold will help us continue our vital work of removing ocean debris, as well as training new volunteers to help us make an even bigger splash in 2022.” The limited-edition bottle is available exclusively on Amazon, priced at £36.75. 

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