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Diving for science - science for diving: volunteer scuba divers support science and conservation in the Mediterranean Sea
Cerrano, C.; Milanese, M.; Ponti, M. (2017). Diving for science - science for diving: volunteer scuba divers support science and conservation in the Mediterranean Sea. Aquat. Conserv. 27(2): 303-323.
In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Wiley: Chichester; New York . ISSN 1052-7613; e-ISSN 1099-0755, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    coastal; infralittoral; survey; marine protected areas; citizen science; alien species; climate change; environmental awareness; human dimensi

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Cerrano, C.
  • Milanese, M., more
  • Ponti, M.

  • Recreational diving engages 20 million people worldwide. Most of the literature refers to tropical destinations but at least 1 million dives per year take place in Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPAs).
  • Divers may negatively affect underwater habitats. However, if effectively engaged, they can contribute to science, territorial management and more sustainable local economies.
  • During 2006–2014, volunteers trained by the not‐for‐profit organization Reef Check Italia (RCI) completed 24 714 observations and 2417 dives in six Mediterranean countries, contributing to a dataset that supports scientific papers about climate change, rare and non‐indigenous species (NIS), and informs MPA management decision‐making.
  • The wide range of opportunities offered by this dataset is illustrated with two examples relevant to marine conservation in the context of MPA management. They concern: (i) the spread of the NIS Caulerpa cylindracea along the Ligurian coasts, with a focus on Portofino MPA, and (ii) the distribution and abundance of protected species in the Portofino MPA.
  • A diver‐focused survey showed that RCI volunteers are highly committed, and that participation in RCI activities has led to a better understanding of, and a sense of stewardship towards, favoured dive sites and the marine world. Knowing who volunteers are, and why they volunteer in their favourite sector

  • RCMed_2001_2020: Reef Check Med - key Mediterranean marine species 2001-2020, more

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