Volunteers don’t need to be a divers or researchers to take part. You can learn all on the site from the experienced dive instructions (see below). with the quality and guarantee of the PADI diving school. Take an active part in this volunteer adventure, dive into the world-class dive sites and at the same time help in marine protection!
The marine project where you would be a volunteer – research diver is in the heart of the coral triangle, in Indonesia.This Indonesian marine conservation activity relies as well on the experience and expertise of the volunteers from around the world.
It was founded by marine biologist, dive instructors, and ocean enthusiasts from around the globe. Its creation serves as a nationwide standardized data collection about marine animals, marine mega fauna, coral reefs and ocean ecological status. It is a top volunteer adventure and a research diver training program at the same time. The organization is working together with Bali Diving Academy, the independent research from Florida International University, and the local communities. Its aim is to carry out scientific research with the help of volunteering for shark, ray, beautiful coral forests and marine conservation issues in the Indo-Pacific.
Why volunteer for sharks and mantas, in Indonesia?
As mentioned, you don’t have to be a diver to be an important part, right on the spot. The volunteer for marine conservation, mantas, sharks Indonesia project relies on the experience and expertise of the team leaders who instruct volunteers from around the world how to make an impact.
So, why would you wish to be a marine volunteer in Indonesia? This part of Indo-Pacific represents the heart of the oceans beauty. Habitat loss and increased fishing induced mortality of the top predators like are sharks and mantas cause many local populations near collapsing. Therefore the aim of this volunteer for marine conservation Indonesia program is to protect the populations from a further decline. One of the core tasks of a diving volunteer is data collection on shark and ray populations. Along, the same is executed for the coral forest habitats. They give a comprehensive picture on the ecology of marine habitats, populations and conservation issues that need to be addressed here at Indo-Pacific. The help of marine volunteers in Indonesia is valuable because researchers can report results to the stakeholders in order to make appropriate conservation steps and to rise awareness among local communities and general public. While you enjoy in the water and have world-class diving as a volunteer, you also help tremendously in the marine protection! And this even about the most majestic marine animals in the world!
Klungkung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
2 months is a minimum
Airport of Arrival:
Bali – Denpasar Ngurag Rai Intertational Airport (DPS)
Data collection and conservation of marine mega fauna, mantas, sharks, coral reefs
18 and above
# of Volunteers:
3-4 International volunteers from November – April
5-6 International volunteers from May – October
English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Bahasa Indonesian
You can also pay in USD. When applying you’ll get an automatic email reply with guiding instructions on how to proceed. It will cost you about 50.00 USD more, due to the bank charge and commission.
What is included?
In country transportation from International Airport or accommodation in Southern Bali to and from the project.
Private accommodation is available for additional fee
Low season (November – April) is 200 EUR/month
High Season (May – October) is 300 EUR/month
Breakfast and lunch are included during working days, vegetarian and vegan options available, local Indonesian food (rice, noodles)
Volunteers must provide their own comprehensive travel, health and diving insurance.
Essential info (other):
- Please contact your family doctor about any vaccinations needed when traveling to Bali
- A dive medical must be completed by your physician prior to your program start date, although you are not a diver yet but might want to become one!
• 18+ years
• Good swimmer and comfortable in the open water
• Language: Good English
• Team player and ocean lover
• Medical fit for diving
Many optional excursions are available during your days off for holiday time. Nusa Lembgonan, Ceningan, and Penida are divers, surfers, yogi, and adventure seekers paradise, while the busy tourist island of Bali is only 30 minute boat ride away. Ask staff for more details about amazing travel destinations in the area.
Pre arrival and 24h in country emergency support is provided by the volunteer and research team at this Indo Pacific project in Sanur, Bali.
– Insurance (travel and diving)
– Evening meals
– VISA related costs
– personal spending money
Get live chat for the volunteer experience with mantas, sharks.
- 18+ years
- Good swimmer and comfortable in the open water
- Language: fluent English
- Team player and ocean lover
- Medical fit for diving
- No police Background check is needed
The country is one of the safest in the world however, like everywhere, precautions must be taken with your personal belongings.
I have had the incredible pleasure of being an intern for Great Barrier Reef: Snorkeling & Conservation during the summer period of 2017-2018. My initial intent was to find a site or a company that would form the basis of a three-month fieldwork period that would inspire the trajectory and the larger source of data input of my Master’s thesis in Social Anthropology.
Unsure of how the Great Barrier Reef: Snorkeling & Conservation team would see the potential in my proposed research project based in the social sciences, I was taken aback by the extremely warm welcome I received and in the infectious positive attitude of the volunteer project leaders. I was guided by another stuff person through the relevant aspects of the Marine Volunteer program and am entirely grateful for her patience with me through the entire experience. Her pedagogical supervision and fortitude will not soon be forgotten and have shown me example qualities that make an excellent educator.
No day was like any other at this project. The extensive efforts, passion humour and incredible knowledge base shared among the staff at Great Barrier Reef: Snorkeling & Conservation seemingly boundless. Their nightly information sessions are unforgettable and rank as some of the most enjoyable lectures/information sessions I’ve ever attended. I am now entirely inundated with fantastic data for my research, more than I could have foreseen and am entirely grateful for having been given the chance to work with such incredible individuals. I was entirely envious of the new intern who had just commenced their internship as I was about to return to my university city, as working with the project team has been a highlight in both my professional/academic career as well as in my own personal development.
Madagascar Forest Volunteer: A Unique Vacation
“Being part of the forest conservation project on Nosy Komba has allowed me to experience and appreciate some of Madagascar’s tremendous biodiversity. It is incredible – despite its relatively small size, the country holds 5% of the world’s species. What amazes me the most though, is the way Evolution has carved life forms in bizarre and marvellous shapes and colours – unlike anywhere else on Earth – designing them to perfectly blend in with their surroundings.
However, being here for as long as I have, it was inevitable that I would witness one of the country’s major problems – environmental degradation. As one of the world’s poorest countries, its people’s survival depends upon natural resource use. They are forced to live off the land, destroying primary forest for plantations, cutting down trees to make pirogues, which is justified through a need to fish. Native species are being aggressively hunted and collected by people, desperately seeking to provide for their families.
We can’t really blame the Malagasy for what they do, what we can do instead, is go to Madagascar, either as volunteers or tourists, not to see it before it is too late, but to invest in its preservation, even by simply enjoying a one of a kind vacation.
There is no doubt that once in Madagascar, anyone is bound to fall in love with it. I definitely did, and not only because of its ‘million shades of green’, but the Malagasy too – their beauty, their hospitality, and most of all, their ability to enjoy life despite all.
I come from a place with traffic, people, big buildings, and smog. The strangest part about being in a place so foreign as this is that, quickly, it all becomes old hat, old habit, routine. Of course we take cold showers and wear flip flops and watch the sun set every day over the ocean. That is our life here, and as I have lived it, it has become just as much mine as the traffic and people and smog.
Many folk like to call this place paradise, and it is but not because of its beaches, the jungle, and the sea. Nosy Komba is paradise because I came here a stranger, a vazaha, a foreigner, but I have, nevertheless, been received by here people here on camp and in Lemur Island’s many villages with an ‘mbola tsara’, maybe a bowl of rice, and a friendly smile to let me know that though this place is not home these people are still family.
I have gotten a lot from the people of Madagascar (free food, a necklace, a place to rest my weary head) and the more abstract things too like happiness, companionship, and goodwill. The people here have given and I have received. My only regret is that I may never be able to repay them for it all.
When I decided that I wanted to volunteer on a faraway island, I never thought that it would have such a big impact in my life. Madagascar will always be close to my heart because it taught me so much about myself, about other cultures and, most importantly, it taught me how little I really need to be happy.
I was on Nosy Komba for two months in the Marine Conservation program and I can say that it was the best decision of my life. My day consisted of diving, learning about the ocean, and being around people I love and will never forget. I will always regret not staying longer because saying goodbye to this little piece of paradise and to all the people I met was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
To anyone who is looking for a volunteering experience, I extremely recommend this organization for marine program – you will have the time of your life, and stay as long as you can, because time flies in paradise.
The most important things that I have learned from the South African Shark volunteer program are for sure shark work experience and data analysing. I enjoyed the most being on the water and doing fieldwork, as well as I was amazed by the cage diving. I felt greatly integrated in the volunteer environment, where it was always a positive and encouraging attitude. It was great to get the constructive feedback and staff member were always available. I found this programme also intellectually stimulating and I learned practical knowledge during my placement. There were many outcomes emanating from this programme which will be useful for my skill development. I would strongly recommend this volunteer programme to another volunteer or a student. It all made a big difference to me and I certainly had wished that I could stay there for a longer time.
Working with sharks everyday is feeling like I was actually contributing not just doing busy work! I enjoyed about various species and about conservation efforts. Of course working out in the field was also amazing but I also enjoyed the quiet days getting things sorted around the lab.
I think I was trained very well while I was at your program although I need to improve my listening skills!
This program will certainly make a difference to my future studies. I had the most amazing time and I am very sad that it has come to an end so soon! I wish that I could stay for longer! Thank you so much for everything, everyone has been so kind and incredible to work with. I have learned so much since I have been here that no doubt will help me along my way through marine bio! I am so thankful to my new Shark research family for teaching me so much and making me feel at home! I am going to miss everything about the South African Shark program! I would rate this program overall definitely as excellent!
A dolphin research organization where I took part was like a blast for me! You can be a volunteer and have an amazing experience with other volunteers from all around the world and with a lot of fun. The work for dolphins comprises of team work everyday: every volunteer gets a task they have to do daily. Before we first went with the boat to the sea, we had two presentations about dolphins and on dolphin conservation. When we first saw the Dolphins on the sea everyone was excited about it. It was such an amazing moment when the first dolphin jumped out of the water. We also saw a dolphin with her calf. That was a really amazing and emotional moment. There are about 150 dolphins, and each dolphin has its name. When we helped in the analysis we compared the dorsal fins to know which dolphins we have seen. When we were at sea there were a lot of dolphin watching boats that drive very near to the animals whereas the research boat always stays a distance away to prevent the disturbance. And when they drive so near to the dolphins they don’t jump anymore and we can’t see them again because they are scared. It’s really important to solve the problem so the Dolphins can live in peace. It makes a lot of fun to work in a group of international volunteers and to learn biology of Dolphins, other languages and volunteering for the nature and the Dolphins.
I have come to do the volonteering for dolphin conservation because I have been fascinated by the dolphins since my childhood. While volunteering we have learned so much about these wonderful creatures – and to see them LIVE in the nature was an absolute highlight!
Last but not least, especially our team was so unique because it team was the oldest ever J and we had one younger volunteer that we at once ‘adopted’ and called her »our baby«. So we have harmonized very well. We have worked together, cooked, cleaned, harvested even olives and did also the tours. Almost like in a family! We laughed until our bellies hurt! Everything fitted just perfectly! And then, of course, there is a team leader, who, by her cordial, open manner and her presence is a real personality! It is absolutely a joy, that you can, through the love to the dolphins meet even so dear people!
I have always been into the sea and dolphins so I was really excited when I found out this project for dolphin conservation. I thought to volunteer for such a purpose would be a good thing. When I had to choose what to do for my matura, final work exam at school, I asked if I could do it about dolphins and from what they are endangered and the project leaders agreed with it.
By volunteering for dolphins I learned more about the research work. But not only this, I also had a good time during doing my work with the other volunteers.We went swimming in the sea, sunbathing at the beach or just drinking a beer and get to know each other better.
But what’s the best of all: you see dolphins in the wild. It’s so great to see them swimming in the wide ocean free and their movements. I can’t believe people are catching them and put them into an aquarium.
I would recommend this poject to everybody who wants to have a closer look at the researcher life and wants to do something good for the sea and its amazing inhabitants.
After a short search on volunteer opportunities I became quickly aware of the project for the bottlenose dolphins, which was, in my opinion, a total jackpot. From the first day on I got the feeling I was into something important. From the little tasks like washing the dishes to gardening I was always feeling the spirit. We did good work on research comparing dolphin fins on the pictures we took. In our free time we enjoyed the underwater world of the Adriatic Sea, snorkeling for hours! Of course, the most beautiful time I spent here was when we went out on our boat trip to get new pictures and data of our lovely dolphins.
I will always remember the first time when I saw a fin breaking through the surface of the sea and the joy I felt having a look into the eyes of an animal that is so intelligent and free!
Klungkung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
The volunteer location is a 30-minute boat ride from southeast Bali and is ideally located only 1 hour away from the Denpasar International Airport in Bali. It is part of the Klungkung Regency district which includes the three islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida.
The island is about 8 square kilometer in surface with around 5,000 inhabitants. In 2010 it has become the Marine Protected Area (MPA). As part of the district of Bali, it is rich in Hindu culture with many temples to visit and ceremonies to attend throughout the year. The people are among the friendliest in the world and are very welcoming all visitors and are proud to show off their beautiful island. It is off the beaten Bali track, but it is an adventure seekers dream with world-class diving, cliff jumping, hiking, surfing, and yoga. Bali is only 30-minute boat ride away where also volunteers can feel the shopping vibes, beaches, nightlife, and a number of adventure activities.
Elasmobranchs (among are sharks and rays) are some of the oldest living creatures on this planet but have survived multiple mass-extinction events. However, critical habitat loss and increased fishing induced mortality have caused that many elasmobranch species are currently experiencing global population declines, and a quarter of known species are threatened with extinction in our lifetime.
Therefore the research of this volunteer for marine conservation, mantas, sharks Indonesia program focuses on the important evaluation about the effects of created marine reserves on sharks and rays. To establish marine reserves are one of the premiere conservation approaches to elasmobranch conservation and we need to thoroughly investigate their implementation on community function. The researchers employs a variety of techniques to examine questions regarding ecosystem dynamics and the ecological role of sharks including stable isotope analysis, telemetry, and baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys.
BRUV is a non-invasive and easily scalable survey technique that is perfect for implementation for use in marine reserves. One of the leading problems facing conservation biologists is lack of data from remote regions. Indonesia is in the highest region of global shark and ray biodiversity, however they are one of the world’s leading shark fishing nations and many local populations are near collapse. With the marine volunteer help the project tries to collect biodiversity and abundance data on the shark and ray populations of Nusa Penida MPA and Komodo National Park. This data can be used to impact local management and monitor the effectiveness of the MPA’s in order to guide effective management.
Before you can be a volunteer research diver, you first must be a diver. The PADI Divemaster and Research Diver internship that this volunteer for marine conservation offers will give you the skills needed to work either in marine conservation/research or even in the diving industry itself. You will meet like-minded volunteers and other people to make your volunteer adventure even more memorable. Each volunteer will be able to network with experienced and aspiring marine biologists and conservation organizations from around the world all with the aim for marine conservation of mantas, sharks in Indonesia.
All intern marine volunteers undergo a thorough training process including completing PADI courses and methodology training before your data is included into the research procedure.
You have 4 different options and duration volunteer experiences available:
- All in one, Aware, BRUV – duration 4 months
You are a brand new passionate marine volunteer, with no experience in diving. You will start with diving courses from the scratch – with PADI Open Water course, all the way to complete your PADI diving certificates (see below). Once completed this will enable you to start enjoying your BEST volunteer conservation project AWARE and BRUV in observing sharks, mantas and coral reefs and help all along to the conservation aim.
- Advanced, Aware, BRUV – duration 3 months
This is a touch into a deeper volunteer adventure, where you will get diving experiences starting with the PADI Adwanced Open Water course and all the rest (see below).. Once it is concluded you will join other marine volunteers and help directly in marine volunteer conservation project AWARE and BRUV.
- Rescure Aware, BRUV – duration 2,5 months
This volunteer experience is an upgrade to your already 20 dives that you have behind you. The rescue PADI course is included in this volunteer opportunity, as well as it will bring you quicker to direct help in the marine volunteer conservation project AWARE and BRUV.
- Master, Aware, BRUV – duration 2 months
In this marine volunteer experience you have already all diving certificates (Master, Advanced and Open Water) with a minimum of 40 dives. You can directly be involved in the volunteer shark and manta conservation project: AWARE, as well as BRUV – baited remote underwater video project.
Marine volunteers, as interns, are essential to the daily operations of this Marine Project in Indonesia. As a research intern you will have many tasks that will rotate throughout your program to give you a full idea of all the aspects of being a Dive Master and a Research Diver. Some of your daily tasks will include:
- Dive Guide: as a volunteer you will learn yourself how to guide dives and learn it from other experienced dive guides and dive masters. A marine volunteer will (should) be able to guide dives independently by the end of the volunteering.
- Dive Instructor: Assist dive courses from Discover Scuba Diving to Rescue courses. Shadow the instructor team to prepare you to complete your IDC (Instructor Development Course) after your volunteer internship.
- Research Team: Take a leading role in the research team by collecting abundance data on dives and placing & retrieving the BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video)
- Office Volunteer Time: Help the dive team in the office with equipment maintenance and repair, sales and books, data entry and analysis, independent study, and dive master workshops.
- Workshops and Skill Development: volunteer will complete the dive skills in a demonstration quality and will take part in a regular shark, ray, and marine ecology workshops.
- Community outreach: volunteers will represent this marine conservation, mantas, sharks Indonesian program also with regular beach clean ups, underwater clean ups, guest lectures and documentary viewings.
The marine volunteer project runs 7 days a week and all volunteer interns are entitled to 1 day off per week or 4 days off per month. These days can be accumulated if you require a few days off in a row. The first few weeks of a volunteer work are dedicated to dive, obtain methodology, and fish ID training and workshops. Once you, as a marine volunteer, are trained and have successfully completed the BRUV research volunteer diver and Fish ID test, you will take part in the daily research tasks.
A typical volunteer working day is from 07:30 – 17:30h with boats departing at 08:30 and 10:30 daily for 2 tank dives. Marine volunteers will meet in the morning and your mentoring instructor will assign your tasks for the day. The mornings are usually dedicated to diving related activities such as guiding customers, placing the BRUV, and collecting the survey data. The afternoons are usually spent around the office analyzing and inputting the data. Some days the volunteer will be responsible for managing the office, other days volunteers will be on the boat learning to lead dive trips and collecting data.
Volunteers will stay in a private bungalow with a western bathroom. It includes air condition, fresh hot water and a shared pool. The possibility for volunteers of a western style homestay is only 5-minute walk away and is centrally located near some of the top restaurants and spa’s on the island.
All bedding for volunteers are provided by the hosts. Fresh sheets and room cleaning is available for volunteers upon request.
Breakfast and lunch are provided on all volunteer working days (6 days per week). Breakfast consists of eggs, pancakes, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, and fresh juice and is served around 07:00 at your homestay. Lunch is generally traditional local foods based around fried rice or noodles with vegetarian and vegan options available. Lunch is often provided in takeaway containers to have it during your volunteer surface interval. Coffee, tea, and fresh water are always available at the shop and homestay.
There are also many shops and markets around the dive center and homestay to purchase any additional snacks throughout the day to have your volunteering experience complete!
Wifi is available for the volunteers at the dive center and the homestay. However you can not expect to have western connection. It is enough for basic internet needs but often is not ideal for Skype calls, downloading, or streaming.
Laundry services for volunteers are available throughout the island for around £1.50 a kilo. Leave your laundry with them and pick it up 24 hours later fresh, clean, and folded. This service is available at the homestay.
This volunteer project is perfectly situated 1 hour from the international airport and right in the middle of some of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world. Bali, Nusa Penida, the Gili Islands, Komodo National Park, are all within your volunteer reach. Take a few days before, after or during your program to explore the wonderful Indonesia. Being on a volunteer for marine conservation, mantas, sharks Indonesia while at the same time being also some guest- tourist is not a bad option at all!
Waterfall and volcano hikes, world class surfing and diving, some of the best yoga centers and teacher in the world, temple and cultural tours, or enjoy the nightlife of famous Kuta Bali. Bali never fails to impress any type of traveller or holidaymaker. Your volunteering adventure will stay in you forever.
If a volunteer is interested in any of these adventures he/she can ask the knowledgeable staff who have been living in the area for years. The marine volunteer stuff also works closely with a specialised tour agency and will be happy to connect any volunteer with their amazing programs.
Apply now and secure yourself a place in this amazing volunteer project.