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Dive4Diadema – The Citizen Science Project

Dive4Diadema Logo text 8000For the protection of biodiversity and its habitats, commitment, international collaboration, and creative ideas are crucial. The European Underwater Federation (EUF) recognizes these aspects with the newly introduced ECO Award, presented for the first time on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at the boot Düsseldorf International Watersports Exhibition.
The international jury awarded the project "Dive4Diadema – Citizen Science Underwater," which embarks on a citizen science mission to find the last Diadem Sea Urchins in the Red Sea.

Diadem Paul MunzingerIn the early 1980s and again in 2022, there was a mass die-off of Caribbean Diadem Sea Urchins caused by a pathogen. This led to dramatic changes in coral reefs, overgrown by algae. Since last year, a mass die-off of the Red Sea Diadem Sea Urchin has been spreading in the Red Sea.

Currently, only a few individual sea urchins can be observed along the coast of the Red Sea. "The exact impact on coral reefs is not fully clear," says Prof. Dr. Ralph Schill, one of the project's initiators. "Experiences from the Caribbean and other regions, however, suggest that coral reefs, already stressed by climate change and warmer water temperatures, will undergo significant changes."

EN PhoneMockUpFor this reason, the citizen science project "Dive4Diadema" was initiated by the non-profit organization Aquatil. All recreationbal divers are encouraged to report their observations during dives through the free, multilingual app for iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets. Each observation of living and dead Diadem Sea Urchins contributes to understanding the current mass die-off.

"Dive4Diadema is a project supported by 56 dive centers, dive equipment manufacturers, dive travel organizers, dive training organizations, and scientific institutions," emphasizes Ralph Schill. "This award with the first EUF Eco Award acknowledges the entire dedicated diving community, especially the divers who notice changes during their dives."


About Aquatil:

Since 2020, Aquatil has been actively involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of water and underwater projects in the field of education and research on a non-profit basis. The overarching goal of Aquatil is to anchor projects sustainably in society through targeted networking of the population and scientific community. Whether observing Sea Urchins or aquatic plants – everyone has the opportunity to actively support the work of scientists, participate in the research process, and shape it.



Prof. Dr. Ralph Schill
Mobile: +49 1727304726 
Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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