23rd of December 07
The Biological conservation research foundation (BICREF) is very active in marine and coastal biodiversity surveys and SCUBA divers, snorkeling and sailing enthusiasts assist in its long-term marine biodiversity data collection. Biodiversity research is fundamental to BICREF as it believes many of the uncontrolled local developments and activities with negative environmental impacts may very well be the cause of misinformation, gaps in local biodiversity knowledge and lack of awareness of the importance of biodiversity to life on and around our Islands. Biodiversity research efforts may pave the way to understanding better how the incredible network of living organisms have adapted through time and will be affected by the increasing and synergistic environmental changes around us.
In particular the BICREF SCUBA Biodiversity Project that has run this year with the Sponsorship from the international AWARE Foundation, has led to a renewed and increased assistance by most local SCUBA schools. Amongst these, Sea Shell Dive Centre, Oxygene, Subway, Neptunes, H20, Nautic Team, Dive shake and Gozo Aqua Sport, gave the greatest assistance. With their support to this project they have also projected their good example to tourists and locals to better appreciate and assist in conservation research projects that may fill the gaps of local knowledge in our marine biodiversity.
These centres, schools and clubs have also found a perfect ally in their marine experience in collaborating with BICREF as various curious animals unknown to them where identified and clearly described by BICREF’s experienced researchers. BICREF also collaborates with various SCUBA schools in planning educational courses on marine biodiversity and conservation. It is also positive to note that various SCUBA centres have offered partial sponsorships to BICREF to undertake its own underwater research. With tourists and locals increasingly fascinated by our underwater world it is also a responsible act to give something back to that same nature that gives so much to us all. Research, monitoring and awareness are fundamental to any conservation planning and management.