ESDP minutes 06 - 2011/06/17

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MARINE BOARD - EUROPEAN SCIENTIFIC DIVING PANEL (MB-ESDP)
Sixth Meeting – 17 June 2011, ESF-COST Office, Brussels

Present
JP Féral (France), M Sayer (UK), A Carbonnière (ESF-MB), A Norro (Belgium), P Kekäläinen (Finland), G Caramanna (Italy/UK)
M Vucas (Lithuania) - observer
P Fischer (Germany) – part of the meeting
R Lindblom (Sweden) – via video-conference 1000-1300

1. Minutes of last meeting and updates on actions
Approval of the last meeting report (fifth meeting – 20 January 2011)
ACTIONS from last meeting
Literature database of scientific diving publications. Need to agree a format/software. Problems so far with identifying a server or shared resource to host the database. Finland has started the process of collating the literature outputs achieved using scientific diving (SD) and the idea is to combine the Finnish database with a larger EU initiative. Action is ongoing Pirkko

PIRKKO : To continue examining how a literature database can be managed/hosted

Joint ESDP/AAUS meeting is planned to be held in 21-28 October 2013 in Curacao (Duth Antilles). This will be ISOSD4 jointly with the AAUS scientific meeting. A Memorandum of Understanding now exists between the two organisations (attached). The NIOZ programme acropora (www.acroporanet.nl) is based in Curacao. ESF funding has been examined for supporting early career scientists and invited speakers ; will seek clarification as to whether our bid is applicable to the ESF call.

MARTIN : To keep ESDP informed of progress on joint ESDP/AAUS meeting ; to apply for ESF funding if applicable
AURÉLIEN : to check with ESF if this meeting is applicable

Database on vessels supporting scientific diving – Aurélien will send a request out to complete a database form.

AURÉLIEN : to complete a database on vessels supporting SD

The scientific diving database was not discussed because Philipp was not present for much of the meeting – this will be addressed again at the next meeting

Diving from research vessels. Alain has sent the Belgium guidelines ; Philipp is working on a revision. The final version will be circulated within the ESDP with a target for approval by email or at least by the time of the next meeting. When agreed, to be sent to EuroFLEETs.

ALAIN/PHILIPP : To complete and circulate guidelines on SD from research vessels

Information of how to develop a national committee. Still ongoing ; to be completed by Aurélien over the summer for delivery by the next ESDP meeting.

AURÉLIEN : to complete information on how to develop a national committee for SD

WG1 SD contribution to address marine grand challenges – completed. Document was released to the Marine Board and approved. It is named ESDP Consultation Document number 2

WG2 – table on SD training ; still ongoing – call for all members to fill in the document before end of June. Final version to be circulated ; when agreed, to be delivered to the marine Board for approval.

ALL : to complete the online form on SD training by end of June

ESDP membership
Portugal – progress being made but limited information at this time to ESDP
Slovenia – now have a national committee for scientific diving.
Lithuania – attended a joint meeting with Finland committee and Lithuania are interested in being associated with the ESDP.
Update : At present, there is a national archaeological diving association ; science is moving toward developing a national committee based on the ESD/AESD framework.
Estonia/Latvia – tentative links exist. Ongoing efforts to establish links.

Updates on COST action “BioDive” – second proposal was not funded and some of the reasons for this were discussed (although noted that some of the reviewers comments conflicted with those obtained for the first proposal). It was considered that there was an increased need to focus more on the scientific objectives and the expected impacts. However,there was interest to submit again highlighting the scientific impact more. Intend to shift the emphasis more toward impacts in complex underwater environments. Philipp to redraft the proposal with a new emphasis and circulate within the group.

PHILIPP : to draft a new COST proposal with the emphasis shifted to work examining impacts in complex u/w environments. Draft to be circulated for comment.

ESDTN proposal to Marie Curie was not successful. However, it received good feedback with a score close to succeeding so will resubmit again. Open call for other partners to join the resubmission. Tentative suggestion that a meeting to discuss the resubmission should happen at the ISOSD3 in Italy.

WG MPAs – ESDP to be kept informed. Possible requirement for ESDP to develop standard techniques for in situ monitoring.

The ESDP SD database redesign is ongoing

ESDP brochure publication costs would have to come from the partners. Design of A4 3-folded leaflet and publication would be less than €1000. Ongoing.

Website – links to National Committee websites. To be updated as necessary – send links to Aurélien.

ALL : check National Committee weblinks on ESDP website

2. National updates and international interactions
ISOSD3 organised by the Italian Association for Scientific Divers (AIOSS) – attach flyer. ESDP members to be encouraged to circulate the flyer widely (attached). Noted that the deadline for abstract submissions was 01 July 2011

ALL : to publicise the ISOSD3 as widely as possible

Joint group working on subtidal CO2 emissions (ocean acidification) – Universities of Nottingham, Plymouth and the Italian SD committee. Diving is all based on the ESD/AESD framework. Hope to publish a method paper on how to measure/monitor gases in situ.

National updates :
Sweden - New diving regulations for all professional divers introduced on 1st July 2011. Scientific diving is now specifically detailed and the European standards are also now recognised in the Swedish diving regulations. The regulations also detail the duties of the diving supervisor who must hold the same certificates as the divers. Five diving levels based on depth and equipment with additional work modules on top of the basic training ; for science the work modules are the ESD and AESD modules. Training/certification route is S-30 to ESD to Diving Supervisor course to AESD. ESD/AESD certification is co-ordinated through the Swedish scientific diving committee ; the diving and dive supervisor courses are national courses co-ordinated by the Swedish armed forces. Foreign scientific divers can dive in Sweden with the ESD/AESD qualifications. ESD is equivalent to the Swedish S-30 (SCUBA to depth of 30m) – also equivalent to the IDSA level 1 certificate. Medical requirements – at this time, the medicals of the other country would need to be examined by a Swedish doctor – there was some discussion on this matter.

Roger reported on how easy was it for a Swedish ESD/AESD diver to travel within EU. Accepted in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, UK. Not accepted, at present : Cyprus, Israel, Poland, Turkey (although many of the countries not accepting, have no legislation for professional diving and will/may accept recreational standards instead).

France – new legislation introduced in 2011 for professional diving with specific mention of scientific diving. For scientific diving, the ESD and AESD standards are now recognised. The legislation will be fully endorsed by the end of 2011. The medical examination has been reduced to every year, or every two years. Use of decompression computers is also now permitted ; the make and model of computer can be determined by the research institute.

Italy – There is some conflict between what is the national law and some regional interpretations. The ESD and AESD framework is recognised at the national level but some organisations interpret it differently. Ongoing with updates expected.

Finland – No significant changes. The committee have started an initiative to promote scientific diving in Finland to the wider science community.

Belgium – Completed updating peoples qualifications to make sure all existing ESD/AESD equivalent divers now comply with the new standards. An initiative to create a specific regulation for scientific diving and move SD from the Labour ministry to the science ministry is intended but complicated by the lack of any formal government in Belgium. Running training courses in September plus courses for offshore SD.

UK – ESD and AESD are recognised diving qualifications in UK law. Some universities have introduced new SD training courses that are based on the ESD standards. Students will obtain the ESD certificate if they complete the course (i.e. not obtained through SD experience).

Lithuania – At present, most SD are trained in Finland. Before the SD certificate obtained only acknowledged the training ; suggestion that this should now be certified using the ESD or AESD cards. However, now considered important that the training should be based on the ESD/AESD framework. Possible national committee may be established – under consideration as archaeologists have based their diving on the CMAS standards.

Medicals – some discussion on what medicals are acceptable in different countries. It was acknowledged that there was no standard medical certificate across Europe and that this was a highly complex and generic problem for all forms of professional diving. Appears to be more straightforward if the national medical certificate conforms to the EDTC equivalencies. Aurélien to compile national information on medical requirements.

AURÉLIEN : to compile national information on medical requirements

Proposed European Marine Biological Research Centre (EMBRC) - seeking to establish a joint diving group between SAMS (UK), CNRS Roscoff (F) and AWI (DE). If successful, all diving to be based on the ESD/AESD framework. Diving has also now been added as an accepted infrastructure cost in ASSEMBLE-2.

Marine Board update – A number of changes to Marine Board membership. The following organisations have joined : BELSPO, Marine University of France (a consortium of nine “marine” universities), NIOZ (Dutch marine research organisation), The Croatian Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (IZOR).

Cyprus – Plan to start SD courses based on the ESD standards. Martin to write to the Cyprus contact to make sure that any SD course is based on teaching scientists – can’t make a SD out of a non-scientist.

MARTIN : to write to Cyprus explaining the requirements for SD training

3. ESDP Review Process
Timing – Review will take place in 2011. The terms of reference for the review committee were sent out by AC. The review committee will meet Q4 2011 to consider the ESDP report. The review will be submitted to the Marine Board Executive Committee for presenting to the Marine Board at their Spring 2012 Plenary Meeting.

The evaluation report must not be more than 10 pages but with annexes. Must be complete by September/October for the Q4 review committee.

Discussion of the ESDP Self Evaluation Report (SER)

  • 1. Mission and objectives Aurélien has compiled mission statement and objectives (taken from the COST report).
  • 2. Membership, structure and history Aurélien has compiled this from previous documents. Decided that the membership levels present a very complex structure that was established before SD became a Panel. It was considered that the membership levels suggest that we are being exclusive rather than being inclusive. There was a suggestion that the emphasis on the type of membership should be diluted. History of the Panel discussed and agreed.
  • 3. Overview of activities and highlights Aurélien has collated the main highlights of ESDP since its establishment in 2008.
  • 4. Relationships, synergies and influence/impact in the context of the marine ERA Need to give examples of where SD fits into the science directions of the Marine Board members. Links to external organisations were discussed.
  • 5. Panel Self-Evaluation (SWOT analysis) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – were discussed and revised.
  • 6. Perspectives Aurélien has collated a first draft of the ESDP perspectives. These will be circulated for comment.
  • 7. Conclusions Emphasise benefits that the formal recognition of SD as a panel of the MB has created. The SER draft will be tidied up by Aurélien for circulation in June/July for replies by end of August.

AURÉLIEN : to draft the ESDP SER for circulation in July with deadline for comments back in Aug/Sept

4. Miscellaneous
MS highlighted that UK sent divers to Finland this year (March) for under-ice training.

5. Date of next meetings
Informal meeting at ISOSD3 for some in November 2011

Next formal meeting of ESDP set for 03 February 2012 in Brussels (possibly at MUMM ; Alain to investigate the possibility of diving NEMO33 on 02 Feb)
July 2012 meeting of ESDP tentatively set to be held in Marseilles

ALAIN : to investigate a dive at NEMO33 the day before our next formal meeting

SUMMARY OF ACTION POINTS
PIRKKO : To continue examining how a literature database can be managed/hosted
MARTIN : To keep ESDP informed of progress on joint ESDP/AAUS meeting ; to apply for ESF funding if applicable.
AURÉLIEN : to check with ESF if this meeting is applicable
AURÉLIEN : to complete a database on vessels supporting SD
ALAIN/PHILIPP : To complete and circulate guidelines on SD from research vessels
AURÉLIEN : to complete information on how to develop a national committee for SD
ALL : to complete the online form on SD training by end of June
PHILIPP : to draft a new COST proposal with the emphasis shifted to work examining impacts in complex u/w environments. Draft to be circulated for comment.
ALL : check National Committee weblinks on ESDP website
ALL : to publicise the ISOSD3 as widely as possible
AURÉLIEN : to compile national information on medical requirements
MARTIN : to write to Cyprus explaining the requirements for SD training
AURÉLIEN : to draft the ESDP SER for circulation in July with deadline for comments back in Aug/Sept
ALAIN : to investigate a dive at NEMO33 the day before our next formal meeting
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