University Faculty form part of Committee aiming to legalise Scientific Diving in Gibraltar

Gibraltar becomes an associate member of the European Scientific Diving Panel (ESDP)
7th March 2022
Gibraltar has been accepted as an associate member of the European Scientific Diving Panel (ESDP). The ESDP is a panel of the Network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations and is the European platform for the advancement of underwater scientific excellence which promotes and provides a practical support framework for scientific diving at a European level.
A statement continued: “There are three different levels of membership which include associate/candidate member, member and statutory member. The aim is for the Gibraltar ESDP to work its way up the membership scale.
“This came after a great deal of work and the creation by the Department of Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change (DESCCH) of the Gibraltar Scientific Diving Committee (GSDC). This is comprised of: Karl Netto (DESCCH), Dr Darren Fa (University of Gibraltar), Dr Awantha Dissanayake (University of Gibraltar), Dr Geraldine Finlayson (Gibraltar National Museum) and Clive Crisp (DESCCH), the lead of the GSDC.
“The GSDC aims to legislate Scientific Diving in Gibraltar appropriately, as there is no current local legislation which covers this discipline which lies between recreational and commercial diving, as well as adopting and delivering Scientific diving courses sanctioned by the ESDP in Gibraltar.
“The aims of the ESDP are to maintain and further develop a framework in which competencies for scientific diving are recognised in different European countries. This is via training routes and differing levels of national legislation, which can be translated easily and effectively to facilitate greater participation by scientists in diving-based, pan-European research programmes, while continuing to advance collectively the available underwater techniques and technologies. It encourages international mobility in the scientific diving community and promotes safety in scientific diving, whilst providing a platform in which to advance underwater scientific excellence.”
Minister for the Environment John Cortes commented: “I am very pleased indeed that Scientific Divers in Gibraltar have come together in this committee and have been recognised by the international body. This recognition will help extend Gibraltar’s network in the field bringing many benefits to our marine work.”
Dr Darren Fa, Director of Academic Programmes and Research at the University of Gibraltar added, “We are privileged to form part of the Gibraltar Scientific Diving Committee. This is a critical step in the recognition of scientific diving in Gibraltar as well as providing exciting opportunities for collaboration and the development of new diving techniques and technologies.”