Illustration of a Conservation volunteer on a survey dive

Our Best Marine Conservation Volunteer Programmes in 2023

Protect our marine life on one of our Conservation Projects abroad

By Amelia McKinlay | 14th June, 2019
Updated on 27th July, 2023

Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth's surface area and are home to a number of astonishing plants and animals. They play an important role in maintaining the planet's surface temperature through climate regulation and are a key component of the water cycle. Although the oceans provide numerous benefits to our planet, they are under threat.

Plastic pollution, overfishing and climate change are just a few issues compromising the health of our oceans. As these threats are so diverse and complex, it can be hard to know how you, as an individual, can start combating these issues.

World Ocean Day is on 8 June, and what better way to pay tribute to our oceans than by protecting it on one of our Marine Conservation Volunteering Projects! From scuba diving abroad in Thailand to working with sea animals like sharks in Fiji, we’ve compiled a list of our best Marine Conservation Projects for volunteers of all ages, as well as ones for teenagers, groups, and older volunteers.

Shark Conservation volunteers complete a beach clean up during their project in Fiji

Protect the coral reefs in Thailand

Want to get PADI certified and help to conserve coral reef ecosystems at the same time? Travel to the Andaman Sea and join our Marine Conservation Project in Thailand! Work alongside marine conservationists on the beautiful beaches of Koh Tao In your first week as a marine conservation volunteer in Thailand, you’ll learn how to scuba dive and obtain your PADI Open Water Diver certificate.

After you get your certificate, you’ll get involved in marine surveys and coral propagation activities that promote the health of our oceans. Coral propagation is a cost-effective way to breed corals and restore reefs, but more importantly, it helps alleviate the demand placed on them to preserve endangered species.

Out of the water, you’ll participate in beach clean-ups along Koh Tao's coastline, as litter and other pollutants can be extremely harmful to marine wildlife. You’ll raise awareness about the importance of protecting our oceans in the local community and plant mangroves along the coastline. Mangroves protect coasts from erosion and absorb a large amount of carbon from the atmosphere. This Marine Conservation Project is a great way to get your hands dirty. It’s also a start towards better health for our oceans and the communities they support.

Learn more about our Marine Conservation Projects in Thailand:

Projects Abroad volunteers clear fishing nets from the coral reefs during their Conservation Project in Thailand

Marine conservation volunteering with sharks in Fiji

Volunteer with sharks in Fiji and protect one of the planets most endangered animals. Sharks are also crucial to the health of our marine environment. If you’re interested in shark conservation volunteer work, this is the project for you! In Fiji, you’ll work alongside the WWF and Project AWARE to feed, identify, and tag sharks.

"It was insane that our first experience as newly certified divers would be shared with more than 30 bull sharks. I was amazed with all the work done through the shark dive. The team were amazing and made sure everyone felt safe and secure throughout the dive. I am itching to go back and experience it all again."

Nina - Shark Conservation High School Special, Fiji

If you’re an adventurer at heart with a passion for the environment, this Marine Conservation Project will expose you to cutting edge shark research. Our Marine Conservation Project in Fiji is exceptionally important as it could help keep sharks off the critically endangered species list. Moreover, you’ll help reduce the number of sharks killed by humans each year by raising awareness of the importance of sharks in the local area.

Learn more about our Marine Conservation Projects in Fiji:

A shark spotted while on a marine dive during the Conservation Project in Fiji

Become a sea turtle conservation volunteer in Mexico

Wondering where you can volunteer abroad to work with sea turtles? Mexico it is! Live on a beach and save the ocean by becoming a sea turtle conservation volunteer. Sea turtles play an important role in the marine ecosystem but are under threat in Mexico due to poaching, coastal erosion, and plastic pollution.

On this project, you’ll help protect sea turtles by identifying and relocating turtle nests to a protected area. This ensures the survival of the nests and once the eggs have hatched, you can release the hatchlings and watch them waddle towards freedom!

As a sea turtle conservation volunteer, you’ll also take part in biodiversity studies to monitor the presence and condition of local wildlife. This is essential data from which conservation decisions can be made. Furthermore, you’ll have the opportunity to work with crocodiles, aid in beach cleanups, and participate in environmental outreach and education. There are lots of ways to help save the ocean in our Marine Conservation Projects in Mexico.

Learn more about our Marine Conservation Projects in Mexico:

A baby sea turtle is help by a volunteer while the tanks are being cleaned in Mexico

Conserve marine iguanas and sea lions in the Galapagos

The Galapagos islands are renowned for their rich biodiversity but are under threat from the impact of humans and invasive species. Channel your inner Charles Darwin and join one of our best Marine Conservation Projects for volunteers on San Cristobal Island! We’re the only organisation to have an official partnership with the Galapagos National Park so you’ll get to experience Ecuador like no other volunteer.

This project will involve monitoring the Galapagos Petrel bird and participating in a marine iguana census. Marine iguanas are the world’s only oceangoing lizards and play an important role in maintaining the balance of the delicate ocean ecosystem. Additionally, you’ll assist in monitoring the local sea lion population. This is important work as it helps us keep track of their numbers!

Save the ocean by engaging in beach cleanups to protect the vulnerable marine animal populations from unnecessary dangers and facilitate the restoration of natural habitats. Visit our project page to learn about a typical day in the Galapagos islands conservation project.

Learn more about our Conservation Projects in Ecuador:

A marine iguana lies on a rock on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador

Saving the ocean shouldn’t feel so hard! Join one of our Marine Conservation Projects and start protecting the oceans today!

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