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Citizen Science Scuba Diving Impact Survey

© WWF-Hong Kong

WWF has recruited 50 experienced divers to join our citizen science program and to survey the impacts of scuba diving at Sharp Island. After several training sessions, our citizen scientists will randomly visit different diving boats and conduct the survey. We aim to understand the potential impact of recreational divers on the coral communities and marine biodiversity. The survey results will be used by WWF to guide further engagement with the diving community and develop long-term marine conservation policies.

When observing diving behaviour, our citizen scientists record the number of contacts, how the contact occurs (fins, hands, equipment, etc) and if the divers have touched the seabed. They will also make the judgement to define whether the contact is “intentional” or “unintentional”. After the underwater survey, they will follow up with the divers conducting an anonymous questionnaire survey to record their diving experience and understand whether they are aware of the impact of diving activities.