POLARIS, citizen science project:

a mobile app for scuba divers

to monitor marine biodiversity

Pure Ocean’s mission is to finance and support innovative projects to protect the oceans and their biodiversity. One of the objectives of the selected projects is to observe and study marine biodiversity, in order to understand it better and therefore to protect it better. The POLARIS project ticks this box as its goal is to develop a mobile app, aimed at scuba divers, to facilitate the collection of data on marine biodiversitythus allowing to monitor and measure its evolution. 

POLARIS (Coastal Observation Platform Applied to Research, Information and Awareness) is a collaborative platform created by Septentrion Environnement, a Marseille-based non-profit organisation. Combining citizen science and research in marine ecology, it offers standardized methods and tools that are adapted to the use of the different actors of the Marseille Provence metropolitan area: managerial, institutional, scientists and amateur divers. This long-term action program facilitates the collection of field data in order to help implement measures to manage and protect Mediterranean ecosystems, in which several species are fragile and threatened. POLARIS also provides technical and pedagogic support to the establishment of an observatory of the sea and the coast, on the scale of the Marseille metropolis. 

The goal of the project is to develop a digital tool, in the form of a mobile app available on iPhone and Android, so that scuba divers can collect data that will then be analyzed by scientific research institutes. The scientists will link the collected observations to the issue of climate change. The app will allow the divers to directly record their observations and to transfer data to scientists, thus participating in the collective management of the local marine ecosystem. It is therefore a pedagogic tool for the discovery of the marine environment that brings together scientists, marine areas managers and citizens for the protection of biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.