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Two Catalans lead international divers project studying underwater environments

Under Jacques Cousteau’s foundation, they will train divers to collect data where scientists cannot reach


28 December 2021 01:28 PM


ACN | L'Escala

One is an archaeologist and the other one is a biologist. Both are from the Catalan northern city of Girona and are now the leaders of a new department of Jacques Cousteau’s World Underwater Federation.

Archeologist Gustau Vivar and biologist Boris Weitzmann will train divers to help scientists study the underwater world. The divers will collect data on things like environmental changes and endangered species and they will share it with worldwide scientists.

Both Catalans will lead the new department Citizen Science, which will pioneer public participation in scientific research. Their objective is to bring science to citizens and allow divers to go to places where scientists cannot reach.

There are multiple opportunities for the project, as Weitzmann explained to Catalan News Agency. "From observing and counting fish, which is a climate change indicator, to helping scientists study endangered species such as nacre (a composite material produced by some mollusks) and coral," says Weitzmann.

In the future, the two researchers are considering using the project and allowing divers to grow Posidonia, a type of seagrass, to reduce the CO2 footprint under water. However, this next step needs more time.

The team has members from countries such as Italy, Portugal, France, Turkey, and Cuba, and it forms part of the Federation launched in 1959 by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau that currently groups around 130 organizations around the world.


  • Divers studying the under water ecosystem, published on December 25, 2021 (by Bernat Garrigos)

  • Divers studying the under water ecosystem, published on December 25, 2021 (by Bernat Garrigos)