Join this Marine Conservation Internship in Belize and work alongside marine biologists and divers who are focusing their efforts on protecting the Belizean Coral Reef. Based on a tiny private island in the sapodilla Cayes, off the coast of Punta Gorda and not far from Placencia, this marine conservation project has worked in conjunction with the fisheries department for the past 7 years researching issues affecting the world’s second largest coral reef. Focusing currently on the invasion of alien Lionfish to the Belizean waters, as well as monitoring Lobster populations, Conch migration, coral health, fish species and whale shark identification.
This internship works alongside the project leaders to prepare reports with the data collected by volunteers, liaise with the fisheries departments and local fishermen looking at sustainable fishing practices and conduct educational sessions for tourists and locals. This internship will give you an invaluable insight into marine conservation while enjoying living on a caribbean island.
Why choose this project?
Data gathered on this Marine Conservation Internship has to be processed and submitted with recommendations and analysis. Interns benefit the project by working alongside the project leaders, providing extra assistance that helps them to carry out this important element of the conservation work, and it is a great opportunity to get an insight into the bigger picture of the issues surrounding marine ecology and conservation. You will benefit from acquiring diving skills that you will be able to use all over the world, from practicing your Spanish, and from adding this experience to your CV/Resume.
Role of the volunteer
Primary focus: diving skills, methodologies and techniques for data gathering
Includes: PADI Dive course (Open Water or Advanced), Peak performance buoyancy session, Coral, fish, invertebrate and disease identification Choosing a specialty/ area of focus for the annual report (Coral Watch, Lion Fish, Lobster, Queen Conch, Whale Sharks, Reef Check). Fun dives!
Primary focus: surveys and chosen specialty. Further identification. Presentation/workshop with Belize Fisheries Department on Marine Park Management. Research / Survey/Lionfish spearing dives. Training presentation to yacht club guests on Marine Environment and the general health of the reef. Fun dives!
Primary focus: chosen specialty. Comprehensive study and analysis of data for given specialty, Compilation of data for Annual Report. Educational session with local children. Survey dives, Lionfish spearing dives, Fun dives!
Primary focus: written section for Annual Report. Lionfish spearing derby! Followed by dissection, analysis of stomach contents, preparation and cooking! Workshop on sustainable fishing practices with local stakeholders. Complete written section for annual report. Wrap up party: bbq, presentation and awards. Bring a laptop with you to document your learning.
To participate in this Marine Conservation Internship you must be able to swim and you will need a doctor’s dive check to show you are fit to dive. A PADI open water and advanced course is included for non-divers, and all participant will learn eco- diving and spearfishing techniques. Peak performance buoyancy test will be required before taking part in spearfishing. This internship is suitable for those interested in working or studying in the science or environmental area, or those passionate about conservation. You will be supported by a qualified and experienced marine biologist. An interview is required for acceptance onto the internship.REQUEST MORE INFO RESERVE YOUR PLACE
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
The Sapodilla Cayes Marine reserve covers and area of about 125 sq. km with fourteen sand and mangrove cayes. Waters are generally crystal clear with great visibility and the waters are home to nesting turtles, migrating whale sharks, manta rays and thousands of other fascinating fish and coral species. The island where you will stay is less than an acre, but with a volleyball court, a covering of palm trees with hammocks to relax in, snorkeling and a busy schedule, you will look forward to early nights and early starts – and even the occasional night dive. Placencia is a small town in the Stann Creek district of Belize. It has a diverse population and is on a 16 mile stretch of coast. You can visit Mayan villages, hike in the jungle or easily travel into Guatemala at weekends, from Placencia or if you prefer to stay in town why not find a lively music venue and enjoy some local Belizean cuisine.
- Duration: 4 weeks
- Cost: £3035/$5311
- Requirements: 18+
- Location – Sapodilla Cayes Marine National Park, Belize
- Project activities: Diving, spear fishing, species identification, documenting shell measurements. writing reports
- Working hours – generally 3 dives per day – weather dependent
- Projects availability – January and August
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Airport pickup and drop off from Placencia Airport
- Accommodation: In a single or shared room on the island during the week and in a hostel on the mainland (in Placencia) at weekends
- Weekly Transfers to and from the island each week
- Food: 3 meals per day on the island (Monday to Friday only)
- All diving equipment (we recommend you bring your own mask and wetsuit)
- PADI Open Water and Advanced course, training in eco diving methods & spear fishing techniques
- Certificate on successful completion of internship
What is not included
- PADI admin fee- $100 for each certificate
- PADI manual for the relevant course
- Meals in Placencia at weekends, Mon breakfast and Friday dinner
- Extra fees for any additional courses e.g. photography, Lionfish PADI etc.
- Marine reserve island fees – $25 per week or $75 per month