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> I think our main difference revolved around defining the 'work' (and
> whether or not it was indeed work  :-)  a scientific diver undertakes.
 
Shucks guys, work is easy to define.  It's what I have to be paid to do or,
in special circumstances, would normally have to be paid to do.  There are
cases where I do "work" for others without pay.
 
> As far as I'm concerned (and hopefully my accountant might agree next
year)
> any dive where I fill in one of my shark survey forms (on waterproof paper
> on my slate) as I go along, is a research dive.  If I eventually get a
> paper out of the data I collect this enhances my chances of keeping a job
> (certainly the student projects which stem from this do).
 
Let me know how this works out.  I'm planning on doing some research after
retirement myself.  The plan is to make my expensive boating and diving
habits fit the definition of work for tax purposes, defraying some cost
through depreciation and expense write off.
 
> I'd certainly agree that using large capacity lift bags and surface supply
> gas would require specialist training.
 
Hopefully, everyone on the list would agree.  I've long been convinced that
the risk you don't know exists is the one most likely to cause you problems.
I suspect that use of lift bags carries all sorts of risks that are easily
overlooked along with the few that are obvious.
 
> I doubt most dive shops would have the facilities to train people in
surface supply
> etc or see it as a marketable specialty anyway.
 
I would tend to argree, but . . .   Brownie's Third Lung specializes in
surface supply diving and training for it.  On the other hand, I think the
training they provide is a long, long way from what a commercial divers
should have.
 
My personal opinion is that there is a good reason for commercial divers and
specialized training to prepare them to work safely.  I know of absolutely
no agency that I consider competent to provide adequate training for
commercial diving but suspect all of them could provide some training in
aspects that cross the line between commercial and recreational diving.
 
Lee