We need to face this simple truth about the 'Recreational Diving Industry', also known as the Training & Exploration sector of the professional diving industry.
And that is, the fact that we are facing a multitude of threats on our sector, and it's workforce; mainly due to the adverse effects of capitalism on a global scale.
Our sector is entirely led, and force fed, by a few corporations and nameless investment funds. In a sense we can all ascertain the fact, that however free spirited we professional divers think we are; reality bites.
The deplorable conclusion is: we have all unwillingly become corporate lackeys; in one way or another. Profit making and hypocrisy dominate, and this to the detriment of the underwater fauna and flora; our main breadwinner in the industry. - THEOCEANROAMER 2020
I.A.D.P (International Association of Dive Professionals)
The idea of an international quality association started germinating in 2003. At the time I had just started OCEANROAMERS, and was consulting for an airline charter company wanting to tap into the diving market. Part of my work was to visit all stakeholders in the Benelux and Red Sea region. Dive Center owners, Dive Travel Agents, Instructors, Liveaboard operators, all had the same discourse: Quality is slowly draining from our industry, the end consumer is unable to differentiate quality operations through the internet clutter. Until today, there's no universal quality rating for professionals. The only ratings out there, are based on quantity...and even a child knows, that quantity and quality don't mix. They are factually on the opposite sides of the quality spectrum.
Having been a corporate yuppie myself, and having worked at the highest level in the diving educational industry, I know exactly how the back kitchen of these enterprises work, and their bottom-lines: Profit over quality.
I know also that the system is rigged, and that the median lifespan of a pro in the Training and Exploration sector is of 3 to 5 years. 'Living The Dream' has an expiration date.
In 2007 social media, and the emergence of Linkedin; enabled me to start regrouping professionals in our first discussion panel. Now 14 years later (2021) our linkedin group has grown to almost 6000 members (are you on linkedin? Join THEDIVEPROFESSIONAL). We are also represented on Facebook, Twitter...
Fast forward to today (31st of January 2021) I coordinate (Free) upwards of 20 volunteers working on a multitude of projects aiming at the betterment of professional divers worldwide. We have a direct reach over our networks, sites and social media in 1st degree of 40,000 professionals. We have 3 distinct Brands/Projects:
- IADP - DIVE PROFESSIONALS: A union/association working on quality, benefits, trade recognition; and a blacklist... but more important establishing balance and giving a voice to quality oriented professionals.
- THEDIVEPROFESSIONAL: A public portal for professionals and serious divers alike.
- GOBLU3: Creating a real aquatic army, to combat climate change and pollution of the underwater habitats.
More information on DIVE PROFESSIONALS HERE