Dive Ninjas Proudly Presents Our PADI Distinctive Specialty Course: Whale Defender

Did you know that whales are one of our biggest defenses against climate change? One whale can be worth 2 million in assets to humanity in terms of its ability to capture carbon from the atmosphere! We believe these ocean titans deserve a course dedicated to their accomplishments and conservation, and now PADI has approved our distinctive specialty to share with the world.  Learn what inspired this project with leading marine mammal scientists, and how you can become a whale defender or even teach future whale defenders with this new Project Aware Specialty Course.

What is the Whale Defender course?

You can take PADI conservation courses on whale sharks, coral, sea turtles, you name it, but until now, there haven’t been any courses focusing on one of the greatest contributors to our ocean ecosystems: Whales! Jay Clue, founder of Dive Ninjas and passionate conservationist, developed this course with the help and support of Mario A Escalera, a specialist in marine mammal research and Maria Laura Marcias, a marine scientist and science communicator. This whale conservation specialty was created as a way to introduce both divers and non-divers to whale conservation. By introducing students to whale biology & evolution, as well as the value of whales to both marine ecosystems and economies, the threats whale populations are facing, and current whale conservation management strategies, we hope to inspire a community of informed and passionate whale defenders who take action to help protect whales. Whether you have experienced whales in the wild, or hope to one day, this course is for everyone of all ages, divers and non divers alike, and no previous experience required.  Upon completion of the classroom session, knowledge review, & whale defender action plan with our experienced instructors, you will receive the PADI Whale Defender: Whale Conservation Specialty certification.  

PADI Whale Defender, Whale Conservation distinctive specialty Course in Cabo San Lucas with Project AWARE
Diving in Tonga with humpback whales. Photo by Jay Clue, for Dive Ninja Expeditions
Dive Ninjas & Sea Shepherd whale defender whale watching tour in Los Cabos Mexico

What Inspired the Whale Defender Course

The coast of Baja California is home to 1/3 of the world’s cetacean species and over 39% of the worlds marine mammal species. Through our expeditions and tours we have developed a personal connection to the whales, and we have seen first hand the threats they face. Entanglement in fishing gear and  boat strikes from un-regulated tourism practices are just a couple of the problems. We created the Whale Defender tour to help Sea Shepherd Mexico, and local marine mammal scientists & conservationists, to essentially transition whale watchers into whale defenders for a day that could give back to the whales that gave them so many incredible memories during their trip to Cabo. The course expands upon this citizen-science program to include the history, importance, threats, and conservation management of all whales on a global scale.

Become a Whale Defender!

Team Ninja is celebrating with an online course taught by our very own ninja, Jay Clue, on Saturday June 26 as part of our summer program of online courses, taught on our the digital Zoom platform. We will be offering the course online and in the shop upon request. Join us in Baja California Sur, Mexico during the months of December through April for a Whale Defender tour or Gentle Giants expedition to experience the incredible humpback, fin, blue, and grey whales that call these waters home. If you are a recreational diver, this PADI certification can count towards your five Master Scuba Diver Specialty certifications. If you are a PADI dive professional, you can get certified to teach this distinctive specialty, just contact the Ninja team for the requirements to become a Whale Defender Specialty Instructor. To check out the full schedule of courses, click here. Also, stay up to date with the latest additions on our Instagram and Facebook!

“Whales have been culturally important to us for centuries and they are ecologically important to the survival of our planet, but it is time for us to show up for the whales with our actions as their defenders.”
                                                                                                                  —Mario A Escalera

swimming with humpback whales in Vava'u, Tonga