Citizen Science (CS) strengthens the relationship between society and science through education and engagement, with win-win results. Marine Citizen Science (MSC) is increasingly popular, thanks to society’s growing interest in marine environments and marine issues.
This study explores different case studies and methods of data collection to provide an overview of actual and potential participation in MCS by the scuba diving community. It investigates the participation of scuba divers in MCS, as well as their opinion of MCS and that of potential participants.
The results of the study show that scuba divers, whether active or potential marine citizen scientists, are well disposed towards MCS. However, the authors state that some barriers prevent the full participation of scuba divers in citizen science. It is underlined that certain barriers extend beyond the control of both divers and MCS projects, while others, such as limited access to MCS projects and poor feedback after participation, can and should be addressed.
The authors highlight that a proper integration of MCS into the scuba diving industry would necessitate the effort of professional intermediaries and hired experts working alongside the scientific community and the diving community.
The recommendations of this research provide strategic direction to MCS and propose ways to increase public interest and participation in MCS, retain existing scuba diving citizen scientists and re-engage previous citizen scientists who have abandoned the prospect of future participation.
Lucrezi S, Milanese M, Palma M, Cerrano C (2018) Stirring the strategic direction of scuba diving marine Citizen Science: A survey of active and potential participants. PLoS ONE 13:e0202484.