Choosing a marine conservation vacation

How to choose a marine conservation vacation


On the land or in the water?

All projects will accept that you are giving up your free time and that you want to make a valid contribution to their initiative, but how you make that contribution depends mainly upon whether you want to work under the water, or outside of it. First, ask yourself if you’re a diver, and if you’re not then ask yourself if diving is something that you’ve always wanted to do.

If you’re already a diver, do you want to build on that that skill and use it to do something that will really benefit the environment? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then it’s likely marine conservation in the water – helping out with reef protection work, collecting data, fish ID sessions and surveys – is the right vacation for you. These trips largely involve early morning starts, up to three dives a day and lectures, presentations and talks in the evening.

Advice on how to choose a marine conservation vacation

Expert advice from our suppliers

Anne Smellie, from our supplier, Oyster Worldwide, shares her advice on how to choose a marine conservation vacation:
“If you are looking to do a project, you need to go with a company or organisation that thoroughly briefs you on all aspects of the trip, so that your expectations are managed and correct from the outset. If that doesn’t happen you could think you’re booking something completely different to what it actually isn’t and you’ll arrive disillusioned and unhappy, plus the project won’t be happy with you because you will have turned up with all of the wrong expectations. It’s the tour company’s responsibility to make sure you’re prepared, so it’s essential to ask as many questions as you like and find out why the conservation is happening and what sort of things you’ll be doing to support the work.”
Andy Woods-Ballard, from our supplier, GVI, shares his advice on how to choose a marine conservation vacation: “There are different types of marine conservation programmes; what we offer is very specifically a volunteering programme where people will be getting trained up thoroughly and get their hands dirty doing survey work on a day to day basis, so you need to be sure how much real involvement you want. The bones of marine conservation though is whether or not you’re diving – there’s terrestrial, coastal work, there’s boat-based work and there’s diving based work and if you’re diving you need to look carefully at the minimum durations that different organisations are offering, so you can ensure that you feel you have enough time to become a good enough diver, a safe enough diver, and a knowledgeable enough diver to get decent work out of your trip.”
Photo credits: [dive research: Julia Calderwood] [set square: Julia Calderwood] [mussel in lab: Julia Calderwood] [researcher: Julia Calderwood] [seaweed collection: Julia Calderwood]
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