Canadian Association for Underwater Science

Founded in 1983, the Canadian Association for Underwater Science is a non-profit, all volunteer organization with a mandate for promoting safe diving practices and developing peer-reviewed standards of practice for scientific diving by its members. It provides a national forum for information exchange and policy-making for scientific diving, and its goals are to:

  1. To promote the development of underwater science.
  2. To promote the safety and welfare of individual members and affiliates who engage in underwater science.
  3. To advance the science and practice of scientific diving.
  4. To develop and maintain a standard for scientific diving in Canada.

In order to use the CAUS Standard of Practice for Scientific Diving to conduct scientific diving activities in Canada, institutions and organizations must be CAUS members in good standing.  Scientific diving is defined as:

Diving performed to collect specimens or data for scientific use under the auspices of an educational or research institute operating in accordance with the Canadian Association for Underwater Science “Standard of Practice for Scientific Diving.”

Note: Scientific diving does not include diving conducted for construction, including excavation, salvage, demolition, destruction, maintenance, repair or inspection of underwater structures, nor the collection of organisms for consumption or commercial use.

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) has excluded scientific diving from both its Operational safety code for diving operations (CSA-Z275.2) and Competency Standard for Diving Operations (CSA-Z275.4), and refers divers engaged in scientific diving to the CAUS Standard of Practice for Scientific Diving.

The CSA standards Z275.2 and Z275.4, as well as the CAUS Standard of Practice for Scientific Diving, are referenced in occupational health and safety diving regulations in some provinces. Check with your provincial occupational health and safety regulator for details prior to commencing scientific diving operations. All members must understand that where diving legislation is in place, it has precedence over the CAUS Standard, and that if the Standard is referenced in legislation it has the force of law.

CAUS Executive Committee (as of June 1, 2015)

  • President: Jeremy Heywood (Vancouver Aquarium)
  • Secretary: Alisa Preston (Rockfish Foundation)
  • Treasurer: Sherri Ferguson (University of British Columbia, University of Victoria)
  • Executive in Charge of French Translation: Paul Boissinot (Quebec Aquarium)
  • Executive-at-Large: Isabelle Côté (Simon Fraser University)
  • Executive-at-Large: Rich Moccia (University of Guelph)
  • Executive-at-Large: Richard Savignac (Montreal Biodome)
  • Executive-at-Large: Mark Bailey (Memorial University)

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