Do you want to know where you can find marine conservation volunteer opportunities? Not sure how to get involved in marine conservation without experience? Want to find actual marine conservation volunteer programs? Facebook diving and conservation groups are a great place to start but it can be hard to find legitimate volunteer opportunities that don’t end up costing a fortune. This list has been compiled to show real opportunities to volunteer in marine conservation in one easy to read place;
Worldwide ocean volunteer work
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 opportunities abroad and intern expeditions 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 marine conservation. It’s a great way to start and get familiar with marine conservation volunteering in the UK for free.
Ocean Quest is a global marine conservation program partnered with Sea Shepherd and dive centres around the world including Thailand, the Philippines, Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei and France.
Marine conservation volunteer projects
ReefCI is a non-profit organisation based in Belize. It runs trips and conservation internships in reef conservation. Becoming a marine volunteer involves; lion fish monitoring, reef management, queen conch and lobster surveys, whale shark monitoring and monitoring coral reef bleaching dives.
This is a marine 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 marine volunteer programs on this list with all profits going to the project.
Love The Oceans is a marine conservation NGO with a mission to establish a marine protected area in Jangamo, Mozambique. The project is backed by Dr Sylvia Earle from Mission Blue. You can get involved with fisheries, coral reef surveys, ocean trash cleaning, whale & whale shark research as well as community outreach projects. Anyone can join a 3 week Conservation Adventure Program or, if you are studying at university, join as a field assistant for 2 to 5 weeks and have the chance go on to do an internship.
Wise Oceans are based in the Seychelles but advertise jobs, volunteer work and expeditions all over the world. As well as encouraging marine conservation diving and further marine qualifications.
Based in Tanzania, Kitu Kiblu specialises in wild whale shark encounters and marine conservation. Offering stays at set dates, between 2 and 12 week volunteer 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 get cheaper the longer you stay. Dive courses and a Marine Science A Level is also offered. It’s one of the cheapest ways to volunteer in marine conservation.
Dive Plan It are an online dive trip planner. This volunteer project is based in Les Village, Northern Bali. Helping to restore reefs poisoned by cyanide fishing. Be a dive volunteer, snorkeler or a teaching volunteer. Sign up for 7 or 13 days reef conservation and community work.
Marine Conservation Internships
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 marine internships in the Philliphines as part of the Dauin Long-Term Reef Monitoring Project. With the possibility of continued marine conservation work.
Want to volunteer full time in marine conservation?
If none of the above sound extreme enough sign up to join Neptune’s Navy. Sea Shepherd have sea life volunteer opportunities where you can fight for ocean conservation anywhere the waves 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 marine 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. It’s real world marine conservation work experience.
So there we have some of the best places to get involved with marine conservation abroad and at home. Becoming an ocean conservation volunteer is a dream for many of us but it’s easier than you may think to take the first step. It can be as simple as joining a marine conservation group online or signing up for updates with a ocean conservation charity. I hope this list of marine life volunteer programs encourages you to take the plunge!
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Air BnB – Sometimes you can find great local places to stay on Air BnB. In some countries, like Cuba, it’s the only way to book!
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Monzo – A similar travel card to the above with additional features like joint accounts and bill splitting.
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Omio – The place to go for all of your public transport needs in Europe. Save a bundle!
G Adventures – A sustainable, fun, responsible travel company. I’ve travelled with them many times and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of their amazing trips.
Contiki – The day job. Group travel for 18/35 year olds and memories to last a lifetime.
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