Based on a tiny private island in the Sapodilla Cayes, you can join our marine conservation internship in Belize. Just off the coast of Punta Gorda, this marine conservation project works in conjunction with the fisheries department, researching issues affecting the world’s second largest coral reef. You will focus 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 to look 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?
This internship will provide you with a real insight into marine conservation methodologies and hands-on conservation work experience, while also having lots of fun with great diving on a beautiful remote Caribbean island. 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 and you will be able to add this experience to your CV/Resume making you stand out from the crowd! This is a good internship for anyone wanting to work or study within a science or environmental field.
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, Lionfish, 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 the 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.
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 participants will learn eco-diving and spearfishing techniques. A 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 into the internship.
You will want to bring a laptop with you to document your learning.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
Compliment your marine science studies with practical experience
To work alongside experienced international conservation and wildlife researchers
To gain marine science research experience
The Sapodilla Cayes Marine reserve covers an area of about 125 sq. km with fourteen sand and mangrove cayes. Waters are generally crystal clear, with great visibility. 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 has a volleyball court, a covering of palm trees with hammocks to relax in, and time to do snorkeling. With your busy schedule, you will look forward to turning in early, though you will also be able to enjoy the occasional night dive.
Your weekends will be spent in Placencia. It is a small town in the Stann Creek district of Belize, though it boasts a diverse population and a 16 mile stretch of coast! You can visit Mayan villages, hike in the jungle or easily travel into Guatemala. If you prefer to stay in town, why not find a lively music venue and enjoy some local Belizean cuisine!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4+ weeks
- £2888 / $5054 without weekend accommodation
- or £3153 / $5519 with weekend accommodation
- 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 – All Year Except for the month of September
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Airport pickup and drop off from Placencia Airport
- Accommodation: a single or shared room on the island during the week and in a hostel on the mainland (in Placencia) at weekends if you choose the weekend accommodation option
- 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
- Learning Reflection Document
- Certificate on completion of Internship
- Supervision from qualified professional
What is not included
- Weekend accommodation depending on which option you choose
- PADI admin fee – $150 for Open Water Certification and $200 for Advanced Open Water Certification
- PADI manual for the relevant course
- Meals in Placencia at weekends, Monday breakfast and Friday dinner
- Extra fees for any additional courses. Courses available include Invasive Lionfish, Coral Reef Conservation, Fish Identification, Deep Diver, Emergency First Response, Dive Master and Rescue Diver.
- Marine reserve island fees – $25 per week or $75 per month
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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