Marine conservation projects are some of the most popular with international volunteers, you will usually work in teams monitoring species, going scuba diving, cleaning beaches and coastal regions as rubbish from humans can be a huge problem to marine life and the ocean.
Marine life around the world is really struggling to survive in the current climate and you might be able to work on ways to improve this. A lot of marine wildlife are threatened with extinction including sharks which in recent decades have seen their numbers decline dramatically.
You can join programs all around the world, popular destinations for people wanting to volunteer on marine projects include Australia, Fiji, South Africa and Mexico.
Participants will take part in a range of activities including boat handling, assisting scientists in observations and data collection. Beach clean ups are important part of marine conservation projects, its vital beaches and the sea are clean to provide a thriving environment for wildlife and nature. This is a great opportunity especially if you are seeking work experience in a marine capacity and you want to improve the the environment in which local communities live.
If you sign up to you might also get to directly volunteer with wildlife. Tasks might include helping research efforts, collecting data, educating the local population and going out on boats to tag fish, count marine wildlife on reefs and try to locate whale, shark and dolphin groups. You might also be able to go scuba diving and get close to some of the amazing species too including sharks!
A lot of scuba diving centers around the world offer coral reef and marine volunteer projects, some offer packages to learn to dive and then learn about the ocean and join research teams helping to protect marine wildlife and the ocean. You could also join marine conservation courses which are designed to educate you about the ocean and coral reefs and fish species, you will be able to identify fish species, monitor numbers and carry out key research to help protect the ocean in the future.
There are lots of research projects where you can help track, monitor and work to help wildlife. Shark volunteer programs can be an exhilerating experience, in South Africa there are lots of opportunities where you can even go scuba diving in cages to get up close to them. Some organisations are based in very spectacular locations which are close to the sea, so there are lots of time to learn to scuba dive or even go out on trips if you are already PADI qualified.
While this may be considered to be a working holiday, and the early morning hours are best for field observations, we can hardly imagine a more interesting way to visit these relatively unknown islands than as members of a real research team.