A recent underwater festival at LUX* South Ari Atoll resort in the Maldives celebrated whale sharks, turtles and more. Several PADI directors, including Dr. Drew Richardson, CEO and President of PADI Worldwide and Project Aware, were on hand as well to celebrate the underwater world and shine a light on local and global marine conservation issues. The island is located in a fully-protected marine reserve, with thriving marine life including schools of fish, healthy coral reefs, a large population of sea turtles and a resident population of over 300 whale sharks.
In an effort to showcase the region’s underwater world and highlight local conservation efforts, LUX* invited the global heads of PADI to the festival.
With over 25 million PADI-qualified divers around the world, PADI is now changing its focus from developing safe and responsible divers to nurturing an army of ocean advocates; “champions of the water planet” according to Richardson.
Whale sharks guaranteed
The festival took place in a special part of the Maldives, already well-known for whale sharks. The Maldives Whale Shark Research Program (MWSRP), located on nearby Dhigurah Island