Diving Team

Last changed: 18 February 2022
A scuba diver takes a leap into the water. Photo.

Diving is an important part of environmental monitoring. SLU Aqua’s Diving Team includes a competent group of divers who work with environmental analysis, method development, species inventory, various research projects, and maintenance work.

The tasks of our divers are multifaceted. A diver's working day depends on current projects, and can e.g. consist of surveying of hard bottom fauna in Lake Mälaren, repairing fish traps at Älvkarleby’s research station, or studying alien species on the West Coast. The divers can also help with inspection and maintenance of the hulls of our research vessels and other facilities.

Our divers work throughout the year, although most of their work is concentrated around the warmer season (April - September).

From fish to macrophytes

Our divers have extensive knowledge in species taxonomy of both native and alien organisms in our seas, freshwaters and coastal waters. Although SLU Aqua mostly studies fish and crustaceans, our divers also work with macrophytes (algae), mussels and benthic fauna.

Our divers often use so called “transect diving” to describe environmental changes of attached species communities (e.g. algae). This means that the work is done along a straight line (transect) on the bottom. All species along this transect are identified. Our divers measure depth and distance to land, and assess the bottom type and the different degree of coverage of the species

Video - for better documentation

Our divers use video to document events during the dive. For practical reasons the divers often put the camera on a helmet. If necessary, the divers connects the camera to a screen at the surface so that the staff in the boat can follow their work.

Divers in boat. Photo.
The Dive marshal checks the diver and helps with the equipment. It is important that the diving flag is visible to signal "divers in the water" to boat traffic
Divers under water. Photo.
Our diver checks the different algae species along a transect (line) on the bottom. In the white bag, the diver collects species that are difficult to assess in the field. The frame is used randomly to estimate the distribution of alien species in the area.
Tare. Photo.
Halidrys siliquosa is a large marine brown algae, quite common along the Swedish West Coast. The picture shows a survey outside the nuclear power plant at Ringhals in the county of Halland.
Oyster. Photo.
The Japanese giant oyster (Crassostrea gigas) is an alien species from the Pacific Ocean. It was first found in Sweden 2007 and has since increased in number along the Swedish West Coast. Our divers document the distribution of this species in a few places outside the county of Halland every year.
Fish. Photo.
One of Sweden’s most beautiful fish is the snake pipefish (Entelurus aequoreus). It lives along the Swedish West Coast, mainly in the area around the sea of Skagerak. The picture shows a colorful male with eggs. They are easy to catch since they lack pectoral fins and often have only a small tail fin.
Diver with head above water surface. Photo.
One of our divers is back at the surface after hard work in the Baltic Sea, outside the nuclear power plant at Forsmark.


SLU Aqua currently has four divers with working diver licenses (S-30) and two Dive Marshals who lead the Dive Team.

A Dive Team consists of three people: two divers in the water and a Dive Marshal who monitors the dives from a boat. All projects that includes scuba diving must have this type of organization.

SLU quality assures its dives through written dive plans and risk assessments for each completed project. This is a legal requirement (AFS 2010:16).


Patrik Bohman, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Analyst
Department of Aquatic Resources, Institute of Freshwater Research, SLU
patrik.bohman@slu.se, +46 10 478 42 17