PADI Bioherm Sponge Diver Distinctive Specialty

Exciting news!! Be one of the first divers to become certified for the Bioherm Sponge Speciality Program! There is limited space in the upcoming launch of the program.

In partnership with MLSS and UCBC (Underwater Council of British Columbia), Ocean Quest Dive Centre is now offering this Specialty Program as an introduction to diving sensitive marine environments, with a specific focus on the glass sponge bioherms that are found in British Columbia. The goal is to educate recreational divers about the amazing opportunity that we have to enter the world of these unique and delicate sponge bioherms while being fully aware and responsible for the need to provide long-term protection for fragile ecosystems, such as bioherms, and the marine life that lives therein. The program addresses specific skills, techniques and diving practices that are required to safely dive these challenging, deep and sensitive ecosystems. See program details below.

For more information please contact Greg McCracken, Ocean Quest Dive Centre.

PADI Bioherm Sponge Diver Distinctive Specialty – developed by Ocean Quest Dive Centre

The PADI Bioherm Sponge Diver program is an introduction to diving sensitive marine environments such as Bioherm Sponge Reefs, to familiarize divers with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards and enjoyment of diving Bioherm Sponge Reefs. It’s intended to serve as a safe and supervised introduction to Bioherm Sponge diving.

The two goals of the Bioherm Sponge Diver Specialty program are to educate divers about the unique and delicate Bioherm Sponge Reefs located in British Columbia and to address the specific skills and diving practices in and around Bioherm Sponge Reefs and other sensitive marine environments.


  1. Be certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or have a qualifying certification from another training organization.
  2. Certified as a PADI Deep Diver or show proof of at least 10 dives below 100 ft / 30 m.
  3. Have a minimum of 30 logged dives, of which 10 were made deeper than 60 ft / 18 m.
  4. Be 15 years of age or older.


  • What is the difference between a Sponge Garden and Sponge Bioherm?
  • Where are Bioherms Located?
  • Why do Glass Sponge Reefs need to be protected?
  • How do Divers Impact Bioherm Environments?
  • What Skills and Experience Should Divers Possess to Dive on a Bioherm or other Sensitive Environments?
  • What Considerations do Underwater Photographers/Videographers need when Diving Bioherms or other Sensitive Environments?
  • How do you Execute a Bioherm Sponge Reef Dive?

Course Emphasis

Divers need to have a realistic assessment of their personal diving skills before diving sensitive environments such as Sponge Bioherms. This means deep diving experience, high skill level of buoyancy and trim, mastery of propulsion techniques, streamlined equipment configuration and constant awareness.

These skills take practice to master. If you do not possess these skills, go out and practice before diving around sensitive marine environments such as bioherm sponge reefs!

Training Dives

The Bioherm Sponge Diver Distinctive Specialty consist of 4 training dives that include skills specific to buoyancy control, proper trim, advanced propulsion techniques, surface marker buoy deployment and other skills required to dive in deeper waters and avoid damage to bioherm sponge reefs.


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