By Jeremy Heywood, diving safety officer

Whether it is an educational dive show featuring the critters off the B.C. coast, performing essential exhibit husbandry or undertaking research on threatened rockfish populations in Howe Sound, diving plays a crucial role in the daily operations of the Vancouver Aquarium.

Over 40 staff and volunteer divers from seven different departments completed nearly 1,000 dives in 2011. Using both SCUBA and surface-supply diving equipment, in-house divers ‘high-five’ with excited school kids, feed sharks, pressure wash coral and trim unruly seaweed. In the field, operations involve collecting specimens for display and interpretation, and collecting data for scientific study. Off-site diving ranged as far away as Resolute Bay, Nunavut, and as close as the beach at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park.

The 13th annual Divers’ Weekend, happening on January 21 and 22, will engage visitors – divers and non-divers alike – with compelling diving demonstrations and discussions, and provide inspiration to further explore the oceans, expand their horizons and exchange ideas.

Divers’ Weekend 2012 will feature events including:
•    Diving Seminar Series including 12 fascinating talks over two days highlighting diving in Canada’s Arctic, the Philippines, Vanuatu and right here in British Columbia;
•    Diving demonstrations by the Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP and Royal Canadian Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal dive teams;
•    Showcasing of the Navy’s new, state-of-the-art bomb disposal truck at the front entrance of the Aquarium.
•    Exhibits by diving clubs, organizations and businesses;
•    Plethora of gallery activities for the kids.

Bring your “c-card” and receive 50 per cent off your admission or 10 per cent off Aquarium membership!

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