Marine conservation wildlife

The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish
- Jacques Cousteau, oceanoghrapher

Whale sharks

Whale Sharks are the largest fish in the ocean; they grow up to 19m in length and can weigh up to 15 tonnes living for between 100-150 years. They eat plankton and small fish and are harmless to people, but their gentle nature makes them an easy target for hunters after their meat and fins, and they also die from boat collisions and entrapment in fishing nets. Diving with whale sharks is a thrilling, rewarding experience, but their very presence is dependent on the health of spawning fish aggregations. Like many of their shark relatives, whale sharks are in decline and they are classified as endangered.

Coral reefs

Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems, housing tens of thousands of marine species including octocoral, sea turtles, hundreds of species of fish, molluscs and sponges. About one-third of all marine fish species live part of their lives on coral reefs and despite their importance to marine life, the world's total adds up to less than one percent of the sea floor - an area about the size of France. They have a very slow growth rate, developing from 10cm to as little as 0.3cm per year and, shockingly, one quarter of all coral reefs worldwide are damaged beyond repair. The remaining healthy reefs are incredibly vulnerable to temperature change, pollution and human touch.

Sea turtles

Sea turtles are one of the most ancient creatures in existence and the seven species that can be found today have been around for 110 million years. The sea turtle's shell, or 'carapace' is streamlined for swimming through the water and unlike tortoises, they can't retract their legs and head into their shells. Slaughtered for their meat, skin and shells, sea turtles also suffer from egg theft and nearly all species are now classified as endangered.

Our top Marine conservation Vacation

Mozambique marine conservation project

Mozambique marine conservation project

Help in integral marine conservation in stunning Mozambique

From £2199 to £7499 14 days ex flights
Tailor made:
You can start this project on any day of the year
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Marine conservation or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

What can you see and where?

Polly Alford, from our supplier, ReefCI, shares her knowledge of marine life in Belize:
"Belize is on the migratory path for the whale sharks, which are the biggest fish in the sea. You can see more whale sharks in Punta Gorda than anywhere else in Belize and you can see them at any time of year. There are lots of other species of shark in Belize including nurse sharks and silky sharks, but that doesn't mean you'll see lots of sharks all the time and it's always an incredible reward when you do. You can also expect to see sting rays, moray eels, turtles, big snappers and big groupers."
Written by Polly Humphris
Photo credits: [Page banner: USFWS - Pacific Region] [Nurse sharks, Belize: Captain DJ]