ESDP minutes 08 - 2012/07/08

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Eighth Meeting – 04 July 2012, ESF-COST Office, Brussels

1. Welcome and Present
JP Féral (France), M Sayer (UK), A Norro (Belgium), P Kekäläinen (Finland), K Larkin (Marine Board)
G Caramanna (Italy/UK) – part of the meeting (Skype)
P Fischer (Germany), R Lindblom (Sweden) – apologies

2 & 3. Minutes of last meeting and updates on actions
Some changes still required to minutes of last meeting. These have now been included. MARTIN to circulate final record of the 7th meeting.

MARTIN : circulate final minute of 7th ESDP meeting.

MB SECRETARIAT / PHILIPP : have been in discussion regarding a better integration with EU vessels supporting SD. Should be better input from SD with groups such as ERVO, EUROFLEETS. PHILIPP will arrange a tele-conference regarding a database of vessels supporting diving in July.

KATE : to follow up how/if ESDP is better integrated with ERVO and/or EUROFLEETS.
PHILIPP : to report on tele-conference between ESDP, Marine Board and Large Research Vessel Groups to regarding a database of vessels supporting diving.

Update on consultation documents N°2 and 3. Consultation document N°2 was discussed and approved by the MB Plenary in May 2011 ; document N°3 was discussed and approved by the MB Plenary in October 2011. Discussed how the documents should be disseminated – should ESDP website be the main site for the consultation documents ? Both websites presently don’t carry details of the COST meeting. Both websites need updating.

KATE : to circulate the final versions of N°2 and 3. All documents (final official versions) to be uploaded to ESDP website (which requires updating)

Production of a flyer for ESDP : discussion on what funding was available from the MB.

KATE : to find out what funding was available from MB for publication

MB review stated that ESDP must expand the membership. All realise the difficulties of attracting a wider membership without funding for travel. It was clear from the last COST action (2010) that funding produced a wider and more productive membership. Some discussion about how ESDP can revise (or begin a new) the COST proposal (see below). A successful COST action could aid the expansion of membership and increasing the visibility of Europe internationally. Note : no update on what is being done with present COST action.

PIRKKO has potential database management software and is examining its use for organising scientific diving literature

ESDP/AAUS – set for 21-28 October 2013 (see below) ; funding could be an issue.

How to develop a national committee ? No progress has been made on this. Decided that the best way forward would be to give some generic guidelines, followed by examples from the existing and aspiring Panel members of how their own particular national committees were established. Possible consultation document N°4 – could be combined with a questionnaire to generate information into the ESDP.

ALL : to submit a brief paragraph to Marine Board Secretariat (Kate) outlining the history behind the development of the national committees and detail where they sit within national law, etc.

National links were tested. Belgium committee has no webpage ; France has to move the current webpage.

ALAIN/J-P : to create / move websites.

4. National updates and international interactions
National updates :
France – Scientific diving is not a priority in the publication of the new regulations (commercial diving [ranked “a”], etc., comes first, “scientific diving” is ranked “h”). The new regulations for scientific diving (which includes the ESD/AESD) are written but have still to be finally approved. The “old” decree is still in force.

Belgium – Running courses at ESD and AESD levels. Recognition of ESD&AESD levels to already certified and experienced scientific diver is completed in Belgium.

Germany – No update related to any discussions between KFT and GAUSS.

Finland – No significant changes. ESD and AESD are recognised diving qualifications.

UK – No significant changes. ESD and AESD are recognised diving qualifications in UK law.

Italy – 22 AESD and 4 ESD certified. The Italian Coastguard will recognise scientific divers should be used on scientific diving projects within the correct areas of competence. AIOSS have also contacted the Italian health and safety body for them to recognise the position of “scientific diver” as a professional worker. Training for health and safety medical doctors, that is pertinent to scientific diving, will be held in November.

Sweden - The ESD and AESD levels are fully recognized as levels for scientific professional diving.

No other national reports

5. COST Presentation
J-P presented an overview of the ESDP.

Dr Başak Kisakűrek, COST Science Officer, Domain Earth System Science and Environmental Management :

  • Outcome : leverage of national funding ;
  • Open to global co-operation (institutes) on the base of mutual interest ;
  • COST actions are networks of nationally funded projects ;
  • Must demonstrate added value ;
  • Minimum of 5 countries (average 20 join) ;
  • Networking tools : science management meetings, working group meetings, scientific workshops & seminars, training schools, scientific exchange visits, dissemination/publications ;
  • Next collection date : 28 September 2012 ;
  • 6 months time-line from preliminary proposal to COST Action start.
  • Advised to examine the COST guidelines (examine assessment criteria – networking needs to be highlighted) ;
  • MoUs of successful applications give a lot of guidance on how to construct a proposal ;
  • Typical funding (based on avg of 20 countries) is €130-140k per annum (total cost) ;
  • Only 15% of funding (average €21k) is available for administrative support requiring in-kind contribution for management by the host organisation.
  • Consider trans-domain application (Technology / georeferencing ?) ;
  • Reciprocal agreements exist with non-COST countries Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina (i.e. small funds by the country and ESF for networking etc).
  • Single stand-alone meetings may still be funded through COST. Applications need to be made through national domain representatives.

6. ESDP discussion on COST ACTION
MB review recommendation / advice was that we should re-submit a/the COST proposal.

The meeting encouraged Philipp to continue with the existing proposal. It was unclear to the meeting what was the current status of the Biodiversity proposal. There was some discussion as to whether it would be counter-productive having two proposals in at the same time. Dr Kisakűrek didn’t seem to think this would be a problem as each proposal is considered individually.

PHILIPP : to update the ESDP on the current status of his COST proposal.

Martin suggested another potential COST proposal together based on the standardisation of scientific diving techniques / technologies with an underlying overall objective of creating a global network of diving-based coastal observatories. Martin will try and get the 5-page outline pre-proposal for circulation.

MARTIN : to draft a new proposal. The draft would have to be circulated by end of July.

7. Discussion on SD methodologies
ALAIN – hard substrate sampling using scientific diving technique. MUMM sampling on wind parks, wrecks and refuge habitats. On wind turbines, perform vertical and horizontal transects – video, and permanent transects, rock sampling on scour protection, plus scrubbing (25x25cm). Artificial rocks are deployed for biofouling / settlement. Wrecks : mapping using multibeam ; destructive and non-destructive quadrats – counting and coverage ; baited traps ; bottom water / sediment sampling ; Photo/video transects. Refuge habitats : gravel bed mapping ; ground-truthing / calibration data for sonar ; diver georeferencing. Direct measurements of sand thickness (geo referencied video footage available) Employ the ESDP guidelines for diving off research vessels. Generated a number of publications (appended).

J-P – Hard substrate research on coralligenous habitats and caves ; and various biogenic Mediterranean habitats. A variety of highly complex habitats only available to study using scientific diving. Fixed transects ; red coral growth studies (fluorescein markers) ; u/w photography (3 forms ; three types of image-analysis will be compared). Working toward quantitative indices of habitat complexity / health.

MARTIN – Hard substrate research on artificial and natural reef systems. Used photoquadrats, visual surveys, settlement panels, fractals for habitat complexity measurement. Undertaken a number of studies to validate/calibrate the methodologies employed. Publications appended.

8. ESDP / AAUS conference
A joint ESDP/AAUS meeting was a MB recommendation : Set for Curacao : Oct 23-27, 2013. Scientific Diving Committee has been established. Costs for travel and accommodation are considered to be reasonably high for European scientists. An application to COST will go forward to assist attendance / guest speakers.

MARTIN : to keep ESDP updated on progress for this meeting.

9. Discussion on renewal of ESDP chair / ESDP membership
ESDP chair needs to change in October 2012. Noted that the ESDC constitution did not transfer to ESDP. There may be guidance from other MB panels in how to conduct the process. Candidates should email Kate within one month of next meeting. Some discussion on how the process should be done (members/associates etc.).

Draft of terms of reference (ToR) for the ESDP was reviewed. Considered the ToR require updating. Was also considered that all known or prospective national representatives should be contacted regarding the ESDP. Need to check/revise/update the ESDP group email. Agreed that the currently listed national contacts on the ESDP website will be contacted asking them to check the details on the website. At the same time they will be told the date of the next ESDP meeting and inviting them to attend.

KATE : to circulate reminder about change of chair and requesting candidates by end of September
JOUNI : to revise/update the ESDP email list and circulate to ESDP
KATE : to coordinate a revision of ‘guidelines for newcomers’ and send out communication to wider ESDP membership
KATE : to co-ordinate a revision of the ESDP ToR.

Selected papers from the ISOSD-3 meeting have been published in Underwater Technology 30(4) (July 2012).

German Science activities : There will be a larger press release in August on the new underwater research field off Helgoland (MarGate) where the Center for Scientific Diving of AWI is just installing a UW-node for international underwater research. They have installed the same uw-node this year already in Spitzbergen and start cooperation with French colleagues (IPEV, French Polar Institute) link to AWIPEV.

ESDP flyer – recognise the next 4 years as a MB Panel. Need to establish if MB will pay for design and printing (about 500 copies).

ESDP/MB websites – Link to ESDP (Marine Board page) from ESDP page requires updating ; link to 2013 ISOSD-4. Marine Board ESDP page to be updated with the final versions of the approved consultation documents.

PIRKKO : to liaise with Jouni re:ESDP website
KATE : to update MB-ESDP site.

ESDP chair to attend MB Plenary session in May 2013 to explain how the ESDP has responded to the recommendations of the last review (KATE to circulate). MB review – ESDP mission statement requires revision.

KATE : to circulate MB review recommendations. Mission statement to be revised (inviting members to make suggestions)

ASSEMBLE meeting on scientific diving to be held at Oban in October 2012.

11. Date / place of next meeting
Confirmed : 31 October 2012 – COST Office, Avenue Louise. Considered that proposals from the wider ESDP members could be invited to host a ESDP meeting in 2013 to try and increase the breadth of membership (in line with MB recommendations).
If October meeting is in Brussels so there is the chance of another visit to NEMO-33 the night before ESDP meeting ?

Degrendele K., Houziaux J.S, Norro A, Roche M. (2010). Intérêt de la plongée scientifique pour la caractérisation de visu et le contrôle des classes acoustiques définies par sondeur Multifaisceaux. Bilan général des campagnes de mesures 2004-2010 et perspectives. 54 pp Mumm internal report.
Zintzen V., Norro A., Massin C., Mallefet J. (2008). Spacial variability of epifaunal communities from artificial habitat : shipwrecks in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 76, 327-344
Zintzen, V. ; Norro, A. ; Massin, C. ; Mallefet, J. (2007). The hydroid Tubularia indivisa (Cnidaria, Tubulariidae) plays a structural role on artificial habitat communities, in : Zintzen, V. (2007). Biodiversity of shipwrecks from the Southern Bight of the North Sea. pp. 229-265
Kerckhof F., Norro A., Jacques T.G & Degraer S. (2009). Early colonisation of a concrete Offshore windmill foundation by marine biofouling on the Thorton Bank (southern North Sea) In:Degraer, S., R. Brabant eds.Offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea. State of the art after two years environmental monitoring. pp 39-51.
F.Kerckhof , R.Rumes, T.Jacques, S.Degraer and A.Norro. (2010). Early development of the subtidal marine biofouling on a concrete offshore windmill foundation on the Thornton Bank (southern North Sea)/ First monitoring results/ International Journal of the Society for Underwater Technology, Vol. 29, N°3, pp 1-13, 2010
Zintzen V., Norro A., Massin C., Mallefet J. (2006).Epifaunal inventory of two shipwrecks from the Belgian Continental Shelf , . Hydrobiologia, 555 : 207-219
F.Kerckhof , R.Rumes, A.Norro ,T.Jacques, S.Degraer (2009). Seasonal variation and vertical zonation of the marine biofouling on a concrete offshore windmill foundation on the Thornton Bank (southern North Sea) In Degraer, s., r. Brabant, b. Rumes ed., Offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Early environmental impact assessment and spatio-temporal variability, 212 p.
Brown, C.J. (2005). Epifaunal colonization of the Loch Linnhe artificial reef : influence of substratum on epifaunal assemblage structure. Biofouling 21, 73-85.
Beaumont, J.C., Brown, C.J. and Sayer, M.D.J. (2007). Evaluation of techniques used in the assessment of subtidal epifaunal assemblage structure. Biofouling 23, 343-356.
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Wilding, T.A., Rose, C.A. and Downie, M.J. (2007). A novel approach to measuring subtidal habitat complexity. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 353, 279-286.
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