Three UVic students, including environmental studies graduate students Stefania Gorgopa (left) and Desiree Bulger (middle), get ready on the dive boat to delve deep for citizen science. (Tobias Scharvogel photo)

UVic using scuba divers for science

Guardians of the Deep program wants local scuba divers to help survey fish population

University of Victoria researchers are calling on the local sport diving community for help counting at-risk species, such as the rockfish, in our local waters.

Guardians of the Deep, a new research program led by marine ecologist John Volpe and grad student Stefania Gorgopa of UVic’s School of Environmental Studies, is turning to local scuba divers for assistance with surveys of marine fish populations in protected areas around Victoria and the Gulf Islands.

“We need citizen scientist diver volunteers of all skill levels to count fish, essentially,” says Gorgopa. “Unlike terrestrial systems which are easily monitored, marine communities can be very challenging to work in and as a result our collective knowledge is extremely modest. We have many at-risk species in local waters, including rockfish, and we have little to no idea how they are doing.”

To overcome this, Gorgopa is seeking to enlist the local dive community in an effort to increase the number of eyes in the water. The research will evaluate local fish communities, assess local conservation areas, while also comparing fish count data provided by citizen science volunteers of different skill and experience levels.

Throughout the summer, Volpe and Gorgopa will hold focus information sessions for interested and experienced scuba divers. There are permanent dives sites in Victoria (Ogden Point and Henderson Point) and on Galiano Island where there will be free boat dives offered to qualified volunteers.

Just Posted

BC business offers ‘clean start’ for people with employment barriers

CleanStart BC is looks to expand its Victoria staff

New roadside testing device can’t identify drug impairment says Vancouver lawyer

Lawyer says similar devices vulnerable to court challenge, testing for drugs different to alcohol

Greater Victoria residents among the most credit-worthy Canadians

Yet debt levels continue to rise as Canadians owe $178 for every $100 earned

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read