There are now loads of volunteer dive experiences on offer all over the globe, pick the right one and you are in for a mind blowing and potentially life-changing trip. I volunteered on a 9 week dive expedition in Madagascar for my honeymoon and it was fantastic!
If you are thinking about volunteering on a dive conservation project it is well worth checking out a few organisations. Different types of projects suit different types of people, and be aware that the project experience and quality can vary massively between organisations. It’s essential to do your research and ask some questions before taking the plunge!
Here are 5 great volunteer dive organisations to get you started, good luck and happy diving!
Locations: Madagascar, Belize, Malaysia
Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. Activities include coral reef and fish surveys as well as a variety of other activities, both above and below the water. They have been highly commended for the Responsible Tourism Awards for 5 years in a row.
Locations: Honduras, Azores, Oman, Maldives
You can volunteer for anything from a weekend to several months and at least two-thirds of your volunteer holiday contribution will go directly into the conservation project locally, funding it long-term and sustainably. Diving activities include coral reef mapping and surveys, and biological species surveys. They won the Responsible Tourism Awards 2006 and were highly commended in 2007
Coral Cay Conservation
Locations: Cambodia, Phillipines, Tobago
You can join the projects as a volunteer and work hands-on to assist with the preservation and protection of coral reefs and work with the communities that depend on them. You can take part in expeditions, mini expeditions and conservation breaks. Coral Cay are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and are offering free PADI Rescue Diver training on some of their projects to celebrate! CCC was highly commended at the Responsible Tourism Awards 2009
Locations: Honduras, Cuba, Indonesia, Mozambique
Operation Wallacea provides biological and social science research projects. These projects are designed with specific wildlife conservation aims in mind, from identifying areas needing protection through to implementing and assessing conservation management programmes.
Locations: Tanzania, Fiji, Madagascar, Cambodia.
Frontier has been providing volunteer projects for 20 years and aims to conserve the world’s most endangered wildlife and threatened habitats and to build sustainable livelihoods for communities in the world’s poorest countries. Activities include underwater survey work on marine research programmes. Some of their projects include free PADI training up to Open Water Level.
There are many more volunteer dive organisations out there, its all about doing a bit of research and knowing what you want to get out of the pr0ject. Whether you have 1 week or 10 weeks, a dive volunteering project can be a fabulous experience and a chance to make a difference when you dive. What do you think? Have you ever volunteered on a dive project?