ESDP minutes 03 - 2009/10/05

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MARINE BOARD - EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC DIVING PANEL (MB-ESDP)
Third Meeting – 05 October 2009, Environmental Institute of Finland, Helsinki

1. Present
JP Féral (France), P Fischer (Germany), M Sayer (UK), A Norro (Belgium), R Lindblom (Sweden), R Palotti (Italy), G Caramanna (Italy), J Leinikki (Finland)
Apologies from A Carbonnière (ESF-MB), D Tchernov (Israel)

2. Introduction
Adoption of the Agenda

3. Text of the European Competency Levels
Review of progress on the text for the Marine Board. It was noted that there was a difference in how the ESDP had presented scientific diving to the Marine Board and what they required.

The Competencies were submitted in order to get a form of formal EU recognition of the standards. But there is now a requirement to highlight the science delivered by diving and especially that which can only be delivered by diving.

It was highlighted that there was a contradiction in what the Marine Board had first asked for and their present comments. However, it was agreed that we need to work more to highlight the science delivery.

Discussed how we best capture the science delivered by diving. It was recognised that the quality and quantity of science using diving was being lost because of the difficulty. One idea was to start building a database on papers that have used scientific diving although it was recognised that this would be a significant undertaking. Perhaps the creation of a post in the COST proposals.

It was considered that the ESDP could work well as a repository for scientific diving techniques. This could be achieved through a summary of national expertise and need.

PHILIPP : To make a first draft of a questionnaire to start building an EU-wide summary of techniques and expertise.
1st draft by 05 Nov
Final document by 1st Dec

There were concerns over some contradictions between the new and the old text. For example the use of the word “certificates” but also over who can support the applications. A request was made for committee members to examine the old (Banyuls) part of the text and suggest any revisions. It was agreed that the competencies need to be a “living” document and should be updated as required.

ALL : Send comments to Martin on the competencies by 05 Nov – new draft by 1st Dec

4. Updates on national situations
Italy – three types of commercial divers ; third type includes scientific diver (with sport/recreational divers). A national committee is starting but still at an early stage.

Spain – starting to establish a national committee

Greece – a lot of interest ; attempting to establish a national committee

Estonia – interested ; need some assistance in how to proceed

Slovenia – Piran can represent Slovenia ; they are the only scientific divers in Slovenia

Malta – Trying to establish a national committee

Poland, Portugal, Eire, Netherlands – no updates

5. ESD and AESD application in national legislation
Germany – No main changes. There is a move to accommodate nitrox/mixed gases.

Finland – No change ; recognise the ESD and AESD competencies.

UK – No change ; ESD and AESD are recognised in the UK diving regulations. Medicals from other countries are accepted if undertaken with last 3 months

Italy – “Scientific diver” is now a recognised class of occupational diver but has no specific regulations for science diving. However, it is hoped to adopt ESD and AESD as the standards for scientific diving.

France – scientific diving still exists in the law. There is new French Law that will come into being 2011-12 with new levels for scientific diving. New levels are class 1, 2, 3 but the definitions are 20, 40, 60m. There may be some confusion during the transitional phase. New levels will include mixed gases ; less certainty on rebreathers. There will also be a relaxation of the requirement for a stand-by diver. Scientific divers still cannot use computers for decompression. Not clear if ESD/AESD will be in the laws but it may be applied at the level of the employer. Other nationals still require authorisation from the Ministry of Culture and ESD/AESD can be recognised as a technical qualification. If the divers do not receive a salary from France, then they can dive in France as “volunteers” – but still require authorisation. Diving medicals are every year if less than 40 ; if over 40 then it is 6 months.

Belgium – Accept ESD and AESD with medicals.

Sweden – Re-writing the qualifications. If ESD/AESD then can receive a scientific note with the basic SCUBA qualification (SCUBA 30 ; S-30). Medicals 5 years if less than 40 ; every 2 years if over 40. Foreign divers can come with ESD/AESD and these can be converted to S-30.

Reaffirm that ESD/AESD can only be given by the national committee of that country if based simply on the diver’s qualifications.

The delivery of ESD/AESD cards by one country to divers from another country can be done if it is part of a practical assessment.

Databases of divers certified as ESD or AESD should be kept to the national level only. Not the role of ESDP to provide a centralised database.

European Diving Technical Committee is working on registering diving as a standard occupation (like doctors, dentists etc.).

JOUNI : All to send their own national situations for accepting scientific divers from other countries. This information will be on the website.

6. Procedure for accepting new members
ESDP meetings are open but should be restricted to no more than two people per country, but with one voting member and that voting member should be the nominated representative of the official committee where that exists.

The representative(s) should, as far as possible, remain consistent.

Potential new ESDP meetings should first write with details of how scientific diving is regulated in their country and how representative they are of their country. An indication of the level of support from other scientific divers in their country may also be required. Each new member should provide a short (5min) presentation of their national situation for questions.

An ESDP “member” must prove that they are fully representative of their national situation and membership will be limited to a single person who will hold their country’s vote.
“Associate members” can be anyone who shows an interest in representing their country and has a proven interest in scientific diving and bringing an added value to the Panel. Associate members could exist as communicating members only (on the email list).

Existing ESDP members should be encouraging additional membership. Potential members should be added to the esdp mailing list.

7. Future ESDP format
Future ESDP meetings must have a scientific issue for discussion with a summary document as an output.

First one will be Geolocation Underwater to be led by Alain Norro.

Philipp will write a short report on the joint research undertaken in Spitzbergen as a ESDP deliverable.

ALAIN : To make a short presentation on u/w geolocation
PHILIPP : To write up the joint research project in Ny Alesund

8. Database of national qualifications proposals
Members to review current information held in the database. Philipp to circulate access details.
Database to be updated every 6 months to ensure the information within remains current.

PHILIPP : To update the database with access details

9. COST
The Biodiversity proposal from Philipp was discussed.
Looking at sublittoral biodiversity records.
Decided that, with the need of diving as a focus, this type of proposal would seek funding to support :
- an initial exploratory workshop to discuss standardisation of procedures and protocols plus the scientific drivers
- the science management
The proposal would seek input also from multi-disciplinary science users who can impact how the assessment techniques can be developed and how the results can be used.

PHILIPP : To circulate the present proposal for comment. Comments back to Philipp by 20th October

10. Any other business
none

Date of next meetings
1. ESF in second half June 2010
2. European Scientific Diving meeting in Italy 2011

Dates to be circulated closer to June ; Martin to circulate details of the meeting in 2011.

SUMMARY OF ACTION POINTS
PHILIPP : To make a first draft of a questionnaire to start building an EU-wide summary of techniques and expertise. 1st draft by 05-Nov ; final document by 1st Dec.
ALL : Send comments to Martin on the competencies by 05 Nov – new draft by 1st Dec.
JOUNI : All to send their own national situations for accepting scientific divers from other countries. This information will be on the website.
ALAIN : To make a short presentation on u/w geolocation.
PHILIPP : To write up the joint research project in Ny Alesund
PHILIPP : To update the database with access details.
PHILIPP : To circulate the present proposal for comment. Comments back to Philipp by 20th October
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