Scientific diving

Within several leading Dutch research institutes and universities, scientific diving is an important aspect of the marine biological and biodiversity research. The National Scientific Diving Committee was initiated in the summer of 2021 by representatives from the main Universities and Research Institutes involved in scientific diving in the Netherlands.

Intelligent monitoring system

“Scientific diving supports professional research and education as well as the protection, conservation and monitoring of the natural and cultural environment. It is a highly-productive, cost-effective research tool.  Scientific diving is quite different from recreational or commercial diving. It provides the technical capability to be an "intelligent monitoring system", greatly extending the possibilities of ship supported/based monitoring techniques. Scientific diving exists in a health and safety framework that involves certified scientific divers, diving officers, scientific project leaders, heads of laboratories, administrators and legislators.” - European Marine Board

The National Scientific Diving Committee aims to

  1. Implement safe scientific diving practices & protocols based on European recognized certification,
  2. Offer scientific diving training and education following ESD standards,
  3. Advance underwater scientific excellence,
  4. Promote international cooperation.

The National Scientific Diving Committee is also the contact point for Dutch Scientific Diving in the Netherlands, where people can turn to for information and advice.

The National Scientific Diving Committee members have the ambition to bring Dutch Scientific Diving to European standards via the European recognized certification and diving protocol, or to comparable international standards. This will also guarantee safety for collaborating scientists from connected countries and students who want to do a diving research project. Since the summer of 2021 the National Scientific Diving Committee is represented in the European Scientific Diving Panel as a candidate member.


The National Scientific Diving Committee consists of a Dutch Scientific Diving Steering Group (DSD-SG) and a Dutch Scientific Diving Expert Group (DSD-EG).

The DSD-SG is formed by directors representing the scientific institutes. The DSD-SG is in contact with Dutch ministries to discuss the need for official recognition and regulation of scientific diving in the Netherlands.

The DSD-EG consists of scientific diving and ARBO experts and is responsible for the design of the first national Dutch Scientific Diving protocol based on European scientific diving qualification standards.