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Dive Club Northern Ireland Dive Againts Debris

PADI Project AWARE - Dive Against Debris Specialty Course

What is marine debris?

Marine debris is anything that doesn’t belong in the ocean. Typically, marine debris refers to trash discarded by humans: plastic, glass, aluminum cans, fishing nets, etc.

Ocean debris is costly to marine life and people. In 2016 alone, divers reported 1,624 entangled marine animals, and “ghost” fishing nets caused thousands of dollars of damage to fishing communities and countless loss of marine life. 70% of marine debris sinks to the seafloor.

Dive Against Debris® was created by divers, for divers. Only divers have the training, knowledge and skills to remove marine debris from underwater.

A Dive Against Debris includes two important parts: debris removal and reporting. Removing rubbish improves the underwater habitat. Reporting what you find helps reveal the extent of the global marine debris crisis. Without debris data, scientists and conservationists can’t advocate for change.

Why Dive Against Debris®?

For many people, marine debris is out of sight out of mind. Thankfully, divers have the unique ability to bring to the surface what’s going on beneath the waves. In 2011, Project AWARE launched Dive Against Debris, and since then more than 30,000 divers in 50+ countries have geared up to protect the ocean and the creatures who live there.

What’s In Your Wallet?

Divers who earn the Dive Against Debris Specialty distinguish themselves as caretakers for the underwater world. The Project AWARE® Dive Against Debris Distinctive Specialty course:

  • Explains how to conduct a debris survey including photo techniques and learning what to take, and what to leave
  • Teaches you how to sort, weigh, report and dispose of marine debris
  • Counts towards the prestigious PADI Master Scuba Diver Rating
  • Enables you to be part of a global movement for change

Make Every Dive Count

Dive Against Debris surveys provide valuable information about the effects of ocean pollution to help inform and advocate for systemic policy change. Additionally, each report adds to the interactive Dive Against Debris Map where divers (and others) can visualize their impact at a local and global level.

If you already have the Dive Against Debris Specialty, or are taking a break from diving, support the efforts of Project AWARE by making a donation or ordering a limited-edition Project AWARE replacement certification card for yourself or as a gift for a friend.

Student Materials

  • Dive Against Debris® Survey Guide
  • Dive Against Debris® Data Card
  • Dive Against Debris® Marine Debris Identification Guide
  • Dive Against Debris® Knowledge Reviews
  • Download above Toolkits, get reading, complete return Booking forms at bottom of this page, process payment & contact to discuss dates

1 Day Course Schedule

  • Independent Study - use the Dive Against Debris® Survey Guide
  • Knowledge Review
  • Confined water (optional)
  • 1 open water dive - Follow the five steps for recording and reporting data as outlined in the Dive Against Debris® Survey Guide

By the end of the open water dive, student divers will be able to;

  • Dive Against Debris® Open Water Dive
  • Plan and complete a scuba dive to remove marine debris from underwater
  • Demonstrate judgement in decisions to remove underwater marine debris items
  • Demonstrate appropriate and responsible diving practices and behaviours to minimise negative environmental effects
  • Complete the five steps to record and report data from Dive Against Debris® surveys
  • If students have access to cameras (includes land and underwater cameras). Take appropriate photographs for data reporting and event promotion

Report your Data: Online Data Submission

You’ve done the dive. You’ve removed the rubbish. And you’ve collected the data. Don't forget that last critical step. Report your survey online in English only. This is essential to ensure your data contributes to the global database and helps drive long-term change to address the marine debris issue.

Other Courses related to Dive Against Debris

  •  Project AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty Diver, Project AWARE Fish Identification Diver, First Aid Courses, Wreck Diver, Night Diver, Deep Diver, Drysuit Diver, Enriched Air Diver, DPV,


  • Be a PADI Open Water Diver/Junior Open Water Diver or equivalent
  •   Be at least 12 years old 


Hire of basic equipment needed, instructor, certification card


Pre study is needed. Please download the SURVEY GUIDE and the KNOWLEDGE REVIEWS

Please come for the course with he above materials reviewed and the knowledge reviews filled.

See Our work on the project aware website