Travel to the crystal–clear waters of the Seychelles in the warm Indian Ocean and contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the local government on coral reef, fish, and invertebrates, while assisting with the development of an environmental education and awareness program.
Mahe Island is the largest island of the Seychelles Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. This colourful and vibrant island nation, famed for its tropical marine life and iconic granite rock formations is synonymous with luxury beach getaways. The locals are a blend of race, culture, and religions with a history steeped in African, European, and Asian descent. Their vibrant culture can be seen throughout the art, cuisine, music, dance, and architecture of the local island life. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful locations in the world and offers the perfect backdrop for those looking to actively help preserve its critical marine ecosystems. Whether it’s part of a gap year program or a shorter stay, this is a once in a lifetime experience.
Shortly before your start date, you will be assigned either fish or coral to study and focus on during your time in Seychelles. Your knowledge and identification skills will be put to the test during your first few days and you’ll complete your PADI Advanced Open Water certification to build your confidence in the water, enabling you to collect accurate data while out on dives. Data on abundance and biodiversity will be collected to assess the overall recovery of fish life on the reef. To better understand the health and diversity of the reef, coral reed cover is monitored in the first half of the year and coral recruits (juveniles) in the latter half of the year. Everyone will also conduct a separate monitoring technique of Coral Watch, a worldwide coral monitoring methodology, which looks into the levels of bleaching that is occurring on corals.
Unsustainable fishing is also a threat to the health of the Seychellois marine life. You will provide support to the Seychelles Fishing Authority by monitoring the abundance of commonly harvested species like octopus, lobster, and sea cucumber while out on dives.
Incidental sightings of marine megafauna like tiger sharks and manta rays, occur frequently during dives, and this information is noted and passed on to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) Seamap, an online database designed to keep track of various larger marine species around the world.
All volunteers get involved with monthly dives to clean up the reef. The data goes to Project AWARE who are monitoring the levels of trash that are being found at dive sites around the world. You will also be involved in environmental education initiatives within the local community, with the intention to raise awareness about the vulnerability of marine ecosystems and share how small actions can make a big difference.
“The diving and environment were absolutely fantastic. Learning new things and gaining knowledge and experience in a completely new field. Meeting new people from a variety of nations and sharing new experiences together. Overall just trying something new and learning from positive passionate staff who clearly love what they do and are willing to share their knowledge and experience with the volunteers.”
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.
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