This year, participatory sciences are the main themes of the 2019 Diving Salon. Scuba People, the magazine, spoke with Patrick Louisy, put forward for this show. For Patrick, participatory science is a subject he masters, even an obsession.
Through Blue Water, this scientist is constantly working on three different projects and actively participates in various research projects. His favorite environment is the big blue, its fauna and flora, but his greatest passion and specialization are the seahorses.
Blue Skin is a scientific association which was created in 1995, the engine of the association is above all passion. Passion and energy are needed when trying to share knowledge with others, whether in the marine environment or in fresh water.
Currently, Peau Bleue brings together three projects, each with a different interest and mission, with common objectives, as they bring together ocean lovers.
Peau Bleue is a scientific association, it supports its work thanks to the association's biologists such as Patrick Louisy but is also supported by various organizations such as the Sentinels of the Occitan Sea and CPIE (Permanent Center for the Environment Initiative) of the Thau Basin.
During the diving show, come find Blue Skin on booth M02-N01
UNDERWATER ORGANIC TRIPS
An annual trip organized for Peau Bleu, with different missions to various parts of the globe. The trip offers divers to approach the aquatic environment in a scientific way, while taking part in research. The divers are supported by scientists from the Peau Bleue association. This organic submarine trip allows amateur divers to contribute to the scientific knowledge of the underwater world. Each trip has a different theme which allows to have a comprehensive view of these various environments over time.
The next BSM trip will be in Tanzania in freshwater with monitoring of endemic species of Lake Tanganyika, especially cichlids, of which 60 species coexist with 17 other species confused on the site. This will be the second trip to this lake, which is one of the largest in the world, an open-air evolution laboratory whose last mission dates back to 2015. This is the principle of travel, spacing visits to study any differences on the biotope of the sites studied.
Seahorses are fascinating beings that can be found all over the world. However, this small animal closely linked to its environment remains fragile. They are also the prey of fishing for different uses, especially for Asian medicine. This over-exploited animal is rarefied on our coasts. Patrick therefore decided to respond to this emergency in Europe, to create enQuête d'hippocampes. Being able to better understand their environment, their diet and their behavior are key elements in preserving these species but also in raising public awareness. The project now also affects pipefish, which also belong to the same family.
To be successful the project hippocampus is currently declined in three projects.
Hippo-Atlas a participatory project is a database established by amateur divers, fishermen and naturalists.
Hippo-thau: field project which is a study on the seahorse population of the Thau Basin. This project also offers participatory science opportunities for schoolchildren, divers and other professionals in the study of the hippocampus and pipefish. Hippo-Thau is directly managed today by the CPIE de Thau.
Hippo-habitat: this project allows divers or snorkelers to take photos of individuals crossed during the dives. The objective is in this case, to study their habitat to better understand these animals and their evolution.
Fish Watch: the last project on the list, but which is not the least, since ultimately this project brings together and concerns all the other projects. This project does not require supervision and allows any amateur diver to participate, all you need is a camera. This database is a participatory observatory of all fish in Europe and the Mediterranean, with to date a database of 426 listed species.
Environmental protection and whistleblower
Nowadays, ecology and conservation are often present in everyday life, and for us divers a sad reality that we are all regularly confronted with. There are many militant associations who are there to inform and act on field.
Peau Bleue also has a role to play in terms of preservation, whether it is the conservation of seahorses or Mediterranean fish, no action would be possible without any study or without in-depth understanding. The case of studies of seahorses and pipefish carried out by Peau Bleue are entirely representative of this specific case. Habitat studies have made it possible to create various species protection programs, as in the Thau basin. Peau Bleue had at the time launched the alert on the need to protect these animals. At the Salon de la Plongée you will be able to participate in a debate on possible future measures to be taken to protect these animals.
Throughout the 2019 Diving Lounge you will be able to attend a exhibition organized by Peau Bleue on seahorses and pipefishes. This exhibition is the fruit of the work of ten years of research for Blue Skin and Hippo-thau. Do not miss this part of the show that will fascinate young and old alike.
Publication in preview
On the occasion of the diving fair, Patrick Louisy will unveil his book "Hippocampes, une famille d'éccentrique". This naturalistic work pays tribute to enthusiasts. You can learn in this book all about the biology of this fascinating animal. The book is richly illustrated and will appeal to a wide audience. The book will be available in preview on the Peau Bleue stand placed on the “Sentinelle de la Mer D'Occitanie” stand M02-N01
Do not miss these opportunities at the show to come discover all that Blue Skin does and maybe why not, register on one of these programs, which are after all, accessible to all. Take the initiative, and come meet Patrick Louisy. This emblematic character of the diving world is finally little publicized and yet his work and his results are considerable.