NOAA Divers

a diver swims in a kelp forest
Acoustic tags are attached to fish, such as giant sea bass, by scuba divers in order to learn more about their life history. Photo: Nick Zachar/NOAA

Reciprocity Divers

NOAA divers often work with other partners during dive missions to increase the scope and impact of their efforts. NOAA divers may only work with partners that have “reciprocity” agreements in place with the NOAA Diving Program. Before an agency or group of individuals can become a reciprocity partner, appropriate evaluations must be made beforehand to make sure all reciprocity divers understand and are following the NOAA safety standards and are properly equipped. In this way, all divers adhere to the same standards and procedures, and can work safely as a team.

Learn more about reciprocity requirements.

Conducting Non-NOAA Dive Operations Aboard R/V Shearwater or Shark Cat

A non-NOAA organization may conduct dive operations from NOAA sanctuary vessels. The visiting organization may dive under their standards, provided they are comparable to NOAA's standards. The NOAA Dive and Safety Board (NDCSB) will review the dive plan and dive emergency accident plan for safety and make a recommendation to the NOAA representative approving the agreement. The agreement has checkboxes indicating the applicability of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) diving standards, and whether the visiting organization has current reciprocity with the NOAA Dive Program. The vessel captain is also required to review and approve the operation. Forms must be submitted at least six weeks in advance for approval.

Email to access form NF 57-03-10 for non-NOAA dive operations aboard NOAA vessels.

For More Information:
Julie Bursek
CINMS Unit Diving Supervisor
(805) 893-6422
(805) 729-3081

NOAA Dive Program Information