Marine Conservation Volunteer Opportunities
As an avid diver and nature lover I’ve always dreamed of doing conservation work involving the ocean. But I found it hard to know where to look. Facebook diving groups are a great place to start but I thought I’d compile all the information I’ve found in one easy to read place;
This site is a database of all the conservation projects around the world. It allows previous conservationists and volunteers to review and rate the projects they have worked on and so gives you real insight into a project before you commit to volunteering. There are both land and sea based opportunities for conservation work around the world.
GVI have been offering volunteering and intern expeditions around the world since 1998. It’s a well set up and established company to book through and you are safe in the knowledge all ethics are upheld.
REEF is a grassroots data collection site for a citizen science approach to surveying the worlds oceans. Anyone can join for free and submit data. They also run field survey trips and other events to get involved in conservation.
Ocean Quest is a global program partnered with Sea Shepherd and dive centres around the world including Thailand, the Philippines, Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei and France.
In One Location
ReefCI is a non-profit
organisation based in Belize running trips and internships based around reef conservation including lionfish monitoring, reef, queen conch and lobster surveys, whale shark monitoring and coral reef bleaching dives.
This is a volunteering program based in the small fishing village of Tianyar on the North East coast of Bali. A mix of local fisherman and international volunteers they focus on reef rehabilitation as well as a turtle breeding program. It’s one of the most affordable volunteer programs with all profits going to the project.
Wise Oceans are based in the Seychelles but advertise jobs, volunteer work and expeditions all over the world. As well as encouraging conservation diving and qualifications.
Based in Tanzania, Kitu Kiblu specialised in wild whale shark encounters and conservation. Offering stays at set dates, between 2 and 12 week programs.
The Tropical Research And Conservation Centre offers basic accommodation on the stunning Pom Pom Island in Malaysian Borneo. The reefs in this area are beautiful but heavily affected by litter and pollution. Prices for volunteering are reasonable and cheaper the longer you stay. Dive courses and a Marine Science A Level is also offered.
Dive Plan It are an online dive trip planner. This project is based in Les Village, Northern Bali, helping to restore reefs poisoned by cyanide fishing. Be a dive volunteer, snorkeler or teaching volunteer. Sign up for 7 or 13 days reef conservation and community work.
Indo Ocean project offer dive internships with a minimum of 8 weeks commitment (depending on experience). All levels from beginner to dive master are covered in three locations; Nusa Penida, Bunaken and Bira.
On the local island of Dhigurah in the South Ari atoll, Maldives, MWSR offer 2 and 4 week in-field Assistant Researcher positions during specified field periods each year. No experience is required but spaces are limited!
Running 1 month courses and internships in the Philliphines as part of the Dauin Long-Term Reef Monitoring Project. With the possibility of continued conservation work.
Want to go all in?
If none of the above sound extreme enough sign up to join Neptune’s Navy and fight for ocean conservation anywhere it may take you. As long as you know how to swim you will get food and board totally free and get to work with some of the worlds leading active conservationists. New crew members without experience will spend 3 months in dry dock gaining the skills necessary for campaigns that rarely last less than a month and sometimes many more!
So there we have some of the best places to get involved with marine conservation around the world. Have any more you’d like to add? Drop a comment in the section below…
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