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

West Shore RCMP catch thieves in the act in Colwood

Thieves were trying to steal a utility trailer from the driveway of a home

Premier asks for re-do on Highway 14 study

A study on Highway 14 improvement has been delayed for a second… Continue reading

Recent calls prompt warning from Langford Fire Rescue

Heating sources are one of the leading causes of house fires

Santa’s Light parade glides through town on Saturday

Vancouver Island’s most popular Christmas parade is back for its 36th year

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

Wet weather expected for much of coastal B.C.

The Weather Network is calling for up to 200mm of rain to fall in some areas of the South Coast and Vancouver Island

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Running back propels Spectrum Thunder into first Subway Bowl final

Brandon Robbins scores hat trick of touchdowns

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Most Read