DECEMBER 2017 ABIS REPORT
Recent photos and latest taxon on Projects page, Annapolis: Project ABIS
It has been 32 months since the Annapolis began its life as an artificial reef, and the ship has been busy doing just what it was designed to do. It has attracted divers from around the world and provide habitat for an ever growing variety of local marine life. Project ABIS (Annapolis Biodiversity Index Study), an effort to monitor and quantifiably record the gradual recruitment of marine life to the Annapolis, was the end result of consultations with Environment Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, BC Parks, the Vancouver Aquarium and Squamish Nations, and was put into play shortly after the ship's sinking.
The ABIS Project originally started with a call out to divers to record their marine life findings and observations with either video or still photography, and report those findings to Donna Gibbs, taxonomist and Data Specialist at the Vancouver Aquarium. Donna has diligently put together a growing taxon of species that inhabit the Annapolis and we still encourage any diver who wishes to contribute their observations to forward them to Donna Gibbs at Donna.Gibbs@ocean.org
Starting in the summer of 2016, with help from a BC Parks grant, we were able to put together a dedicated team of citizen scientist divers that could be sent out to the Annapolis on a consistent basis to collect data on marine life accumulation. We are now into our second year of working with BC Parks and the results have been very encouraging.
As of this month we have documented 130 species of marine flora and fauna on the Annapolis. Until recently, all marine phyla, except for one, were represented on the Annapolis. The one exception was the phyla Porifera, or sponges. We knew they would come and we searched diligently and waited patiently. And then, just in the past couple of weeks, we found and documented our first sponge. The discovery of a sponge fills in all the blank spaces and means that all marine phyla are now represented on the Annapolis. It also offers a level of validation of the project and all the hard work that went into it.
We would like to thank all divers for their submissions over the past two and a half years and look forward to further discoveries that lay in wait.
Dive smart, dive safe.
– Doug Pemberton
Biological Monitoring Programs
ARSBC GOES TO TORONTO!
In 1845 Sir John Franklin left England with two ships on a quest to discover the Northwest Passage... and was never seen again. A year ago one of his ships, the HMS Erebus, was discovered by Parks Canada divers in the high Arctic. Over the past summer, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto has offered a series of talks and presentations surrounding the Franklin expedition and the discovery of the sunken HMS Erebus. One presentation focussed on the HMS Erebus as an artificial reef. This opened a discussion on artificial reefs in general and, eventually, on the ARSBC in particular.
On the weekend of September 23rd and 24th, the ARSBC was invited by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto to take part in their Brilliant Sciences Program. Howie Robins, Alan Wong and Doug Pemberton flew to Toronto to give a presentation on the Society: what we do, how we do it and why we do it. They set up a presentation booth in the Natural History gallery and featured an excellent video history of ARSBC's artificial reef projects over the years. The video was painstakingly put together by Gary Friesen and was shown on a 130” monitor. The ARSBC never looked better!
Howie also gave a presentation to a very interested, enthusiastic and engaging audience in the 200-seat Eaton Theatre. That presentation included some rarely seen video of the Annapolis sinking, an outline of the Annapolis Biodiversity Index Study project (ABIS), and a film on upcoming plans for the Catalyst project. This project highlights the Society’s new business model, where ARSBC consults with organizations to assist them in creating new marine habitats by re-purposing ships and other structures into artificial reefs.
The Ontario Underwater Council (OUC) was aware of ARSBC'S visit to Toronto, and had sent out a memo to local dive clubs. In addition to the many families who visited the display booth, Howie, Alan and Doug also met many local divers who showed an enthusiastic interest in ARSBC's endeavours.
It was a very short trip to Toronto, but very worthwhile!
In the News – Sort Of!
Artificial reefs in BC make for great news stories – and they provide equally great opportunities for editorial humour. ARSBC thanks cartoonist Adrian Raeside for his valuable insights on the subject. More from Adrian Raeside....
Welcoming Director Bryan Hicks
It is with great pleasure that the Society welcomes our newest Director to the Board – Mr. Bryan Hicks. Bryan is a lawyer who acted for the ARSBC in the litigation relating to the Annapolis project. The Board is delighted to have him onboard and we look forward to working together on future programs and projects.
ARSBC by Skype and PowerPoint
In early November Rick Wall (Communications Director) gave a presentation to the Scarborough Underwater Club in Toronto, without leaving BC!
Contact us if your group is interested in having our speakers present at your event – in person around the Vancouver area, and around the country by Skype and PowerPoint.
3D Scans of Annapolis
Colin Davidson of LNG Studios has kindly provided us with a whole new way to see HMCS Annapolis!
Visit Our Reefs > Annapolis to try out this new innovation.
ArtToMedia Dive Maps
Made of waterproof UV plastic, these 8.5 by 5.5 inch dive cards fit easily into a three-ring binder and are a diver's best friend both sides of the waterline. All eight of ARSBC's reefs are available as dive cards and can be ordered online from ArtToMedia. The cards feature two views of the vessel, along with location maps, depths, and buoy locations. A brief synopsis of the vessel's history and GPS location is included.
Volunteer job posting: Assistant Secretary to the ARSBC
The role of the Secretary is to support the Board in ensuring smooth functioning of the Society. The Secretary is responsible for:
• Liaising with Board to plan meetings;
• Ensuring meetings are effectively organized and minuted;
• Maintaining records and correspondence;
• Responding to all Board correspondence;
• Checking that agreed actions are carried out;
• Preparing a report of the organisation’s activities for the year for the annual general meeting;
• Some travel may be required;
• The role may require 3-6 hours monthly.
Please contact us if you would like to apply.