If you are already an experienced diver that adores the mystery of being underwater, yet have witnessed increasing temperatures and massive coral bleaching, are you satisfied with being just a diver and just attending the beach clean-up activities occasionally? If not, why don’t you join these people and contribute to marine conservation.
Text | Vita Liu
Photo | Su Huai and Vita Liu
In 2020, massive changes have happened to everyone in the world due to Covid-19. While schools, companies and large-sized events are postponed, few small-sized activities have resumed thanks to the well-controlled situation here in Taipei. Friends from different organisations – National Taiwan Museum, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, TurtleSpot Taiwan, Congratulafins, Taiwan Environmental Information Association, IndigoWaters and Science Media Center Taiwan – were chatting and decided to start planning the Ocean Citizen Science Carnival. The event took place at National Taiwan Museum on 28th November 2020, and EZDIVE was invited to visit.
The weather was rainy but the crowds busy. The organiser prepared two main topic seminars and eight short talks including king crab communities research, dolphins registration booklet and coral reef living crisis. The fact that the marine debris map data was collected by the public from all over Taiwan was also revealed during the seminars. To support this, senior ‘paparazzi’ also shared how public power pushes these research projects through. Participants could not only acquire new knowledge during the seminars, but they could also learn from many Ocean Citizen Science team members on subjects such as how to execute citizen science researches by the beach, the ocean surface or in the ocean; how to track sharks; what you can learn through beach cleaning and how to evaluate the health status of coral reefs.
Apart from the professional seminars, the organisers invited many artists who are also ocean lovers to join the event and they displayed their works including painting, wooden crafts, embroidery and so much more. Their work was impressive and made the icing on the cake. The ‘Ocean Paparazzi Performance Exhibition’ was also held and every visitor had a chance to talk to participants about his or her years of work. Posters showed the processes and results of every Citizen Science project in a way that even an ocean novice would understand the knowledge highlighted on the posters.
And what is Ocean Paparazzi? It is a metaphor – as an ocean citizen scientist, you must be ready and persistent at all times; you are equipped with all kinds of skills just like the real paparazzi that works for gossip magazines; you will explore secretly without interrupting the marine life environment; furthermore, you have to try your best to trace anything left by the creatures in the wide ocean. Everyone can take on this job, you do not need science related academic background, as long as you are interested and you are capable, you can contribute to the Citizen Science files.
‘Gather Together! Ocean Paparazzi – Ocean Citizen Science Carnival’ is not only the first Ocean Citizen Science fan-oriented gathering in Taiwan, but also a good event that was able to enhance your knowledge and widen your vision. They welcome all marine life lovers to join their team!
- National Taiwan Museum (www.ntm.gov.tw)
- Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica (www.biodiv.tw/tw)
- TurtleSpot Taiwan (www.turtlespotintw.org)
- Congratulafins (www.congratulafins.org)
- Taiwan Environmental Information Association (teia.tw)
- IndigoWaters (indigowaters.org)
- Science Media Center Taiwan (smctw.tw)