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PADI Distinctive Specialty Course

The RED SEA PROJECT™ established the RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ in 2020 to monitor the population size, distribution, habitat usage, and migration patterns of marine turtles throughout the year. By employing cost-effective, non-invasive monitoring techniques, individual turtles are counted, measured, and photo-identified. Photographic analysis of unique markings on the turtles' heads and carapaces enables accurate identification. Divers also record valuable data, such as behavior, sex, size, injuries, and any unusual observations. Additionally, the RED SEA PROJECT™ endeavors to safeguard the health of crucial ecosystems like seagrass meadows and coral reefs, which are essential for the survival of sea turtles. The collected data contributes to a better understanding of marine turtle populations in the Red Sea and aids in their protection.


As an integral part of the RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™, the team organizes regular educational workshops and evening presentations to share accessible and non-invasive turtle monitoring techniques. Engaging both tourists and local community members as citizen scientists, the project encourages the sharing of information and documentation of turtle sightings. By collaborating with citizen scientists, the RED SEA PROJECT™ gains invaluable insights into the population structure and distribution of marine turtles, facilitating the implementation of effective conservation measures. The project's success is attributed to a combination of citizen science and fieldwork conducted by specialists. In 2023, over 8,000 turtle sightings were submitted to the Wild Me platform, and multiple scientific publications were released. With the commitment of volunteers, interns, students, professionals, and tourists, this project is rapidly growing into one of the largest databases on marine turtles, furthering conservation efforts in the Red Sea.

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Wild Me, a pioneering force in wildlife research and conservation, stands at the forefront of a transformative movement. With a mission to combat the ongoing sixth mass extinction, Wild Me leverages cutting-edge technology and a passion for preserving Earth's biodiversity.


At its core, Wild Me advocates for the power of photography and AI-driven computer vision to monitor and protect our planet's precious wildlife. Their innovative approach replaces labor-intensive methods with swift and accurate computational solutions, setting a new standard in the field.

Wild Me champions the cost-effective and scalable utilization of photography and AI in the identification of individual marine turtles, eliminating the requirement for physical tagging. This comprehensive approach embraces diverse imagery sources, including valuable contributions from tourists and citizen scientists. Wild Me collaborates with the RED SEA PROJECT™ research team, striving to establish a long-term monitoring program aimed at enhancing our understanding of marine turtles and bolstering their protection.

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In 2022, PADI AWARE Foundation teamed up with the RED SEA PROJECT™ to encourage divers and snorkelers to monitor marine turtles. This valuable relationship has seen RED SEA PROJECT™ monitoring and conservation tools promoted to thousands of divers worldwide.

The goals of the RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ Distinctive Specialty Course training are:

  1. To raise awareness about the importance of marine turtle conservation and introduce RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™.

  2. To introduce participants to the biology of marine turtles and their conservation status worldwide and in-particular in the Red Sea.

  3. To introduce the concept of Citizen Science.

  4. To teach participants how to correctly and reliably identify marine turtle species.

  5. To teach skills such as photographic identification as a monitoring tool to record data.

  6. To enable participants to plan, organise and execute a marine turtle survey in a manner that is safe for both the recorder (s) and environment, as well as in-keeping with turtle encounter practices and codes of conduct.

  7. To provide awareness of marine ecosystem conservation opportunities through participation in RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™.

  8. To have participants submit data that contributes to sea turtle research and conservation.

The education materials for RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ Specialty course training are:


• RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ Specialty Instructor Guide

• RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ Knowledge Development Presentations 1 and 2

• RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ Code of Conduct and Best Practices for Turtles Watch

• Marine Turtles ID Chart

• Marine Turtles Data Collection Slate


• RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ Virtual Practice Survey


• Access to the RED SEA PROJECT™ website ( to download educational materials

Access to the Internet of Turtles website ( to upload survey data results


• RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ Digital Tool Package

• PADI AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

• PADI AWARE Manual – Our World, Our Water.

Download your PADI Instructor Manuals and Lesson Guidelines

RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ - PADI Distinctive Specialty Course - Download your PADI Instruct

If you are a PADI Instructor and are interested in applying for the instructor rating all you need to do is

  • submit the online application form to RED SEA PROJECT™  

  • wait for approval of your application from RED SEA TURTLES PROJECT™ and send the signed application form together with your specialty instructor application to your local PADI Training Department

Enjoy teaching!

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