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;

 

Worldwide

 

The Conservation Network

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

Diving with turtle

 

 

 

 

In One Location

 

ReefCI

 

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.

 

North Bali Reef Conservation

 

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

 

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.

 

Kitu Kiblu

 

Based in Tanzania, Kitu Kiblu specialised in wild whale shark encounters and conservation. Offering stays at set dates, between 2 and 12 week programs.

 

TRACC

 

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.

 

Heading to Borneo? Read about my favourite slice of paradise here.

ND Divers is a dive shop with a difference. They operate daily litter clean ups and engage the local community in trying to be more sustainable. Sleeping in a stilt house over the reef, visitors get to see the largest clams around, resident seahorses and a myriad of other wildlife right below their feet!

 

Stilt house Borneo Semporna

 

Semporna, Borneo

 

Sea Communities

 

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.

 

Turtle Underwater

 

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Internships

 

Indo Ocean Project

 

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.

 

Maldives Whale Shark Research

 

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!

 

Institute Marine Research

 

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.

 

Diving USS Liberty Tulamben Bali

 

Want to go all in?

 

Sea Shepherd

 

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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