Marine Conservationist

Marine Conservation Cambodia
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Coordinator | Manon
Coordinator | Manon
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Learn how to dive and explore our unique underwater environment that noone ever dove in before
Experience Khmer life style, food and events with our local community
Truly dedicate your time to the protection of the marine environment through direct field conservation
Discover Cambodian both land and underwater wonders
Meet people with a huge variety of background and from all around the world.
We have a unique marine environment here and some of it has never been surveyed before. We can guarantee you you'll make a genuine difference to its conservation. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+

We are currently working on multiple activities directly in line with marine conservation and research. For all the below projects, we give you full training and support to get you up to a level where your data can be used within our reports and publications. Usually, our volunteers are involved in multiple activities within different projects, hence the followed multiple description. However, we always give the possibility to focus on one project if the volunteer wants it.

Ø  The Cambodian Marine Mammal Conservation Project: Cambodia's first long term marine mammal research program. The Project was initiated in September 2017, with support from the Dolphin Division of Cambodia's Fisheries Administration. The project's primary aim is to collect data on abundance, distribution and residency to delineate and protect critical habitats for the Irrawaddy dolphin in Cambodia's Kep Archipelago.

Ø  Shellfish Reef restoration: This project has the potential to greatly improve the whole ecosystem by filtering the water, creating fish aggregation zones, building anti-trawling devices and possibly providing an alternative livelihood to illegal and small-scale fisherman by increasing the quantity of Oyster and Mussel beds in Kep province. We are deploying more than a hundred underwater structures, demarcate with bamboo fish aggregation devices, around the new Marine Fisheries Management Area.

Ø  The first seahorse assessment and population mapping of the Kep Archipelago, in collaboration with Project Seahorse and Tse-Lynn Loh (Postdoctoral Research Associate).

Ø  Reef monitoring program: Our reef surveys aim at determining the level and consequences of human-induced impacts on coral reefs, based on the indicators developed of Reef Check International. To do so, we are monitoring the marine ecosystem through 3 types of survey: fish, invertebrate and substrate survey. We are conducting those surveys every year around 3 different islands within Kep Archipelago (Koh Seh, Koh Angkrong, Koh Makprang).

Ø  Outreach project: our education project aims to bring the subject or marine ecology into local communities. To do so, we work in partnership with local schools where we run sessions on different marine topics to capture student’s imagination through creative and engaging activities.

Ø  Seagrass Project: This project aims to map the extent, species composition and abundance of seagrasses across the Kep archipelago. Starting at Koh Seh, the seagrass project works to better understand seagrass ecology over different temporal and spatial scales, including assessments of species growth rates, reproductive cycles and response to damage. Working with the seagrass squad you would contribute toward directing protected area zone management, identify biodiversity hotspots and threat-spots, and inform strategies for meadow expansion.

 At the same time, we are providing multiple research possibilities for anybody with relevant experience (or enough time preparation before arrival here) intending to stay for an extensive period. For these potential projects, we are looking for people with initiative, leadership and creativity. If it is something you would be interested in, you would have to design the whole project from A to Z. We would be here to support you and give you advice if needed of course. This is the opportunity to be your own project director, challenge yourself outside the box and be a scientific pioneer in this field

As you might have realized already, most of our activities happen underwater, for which you need a minimum of Advanced Adventurer (SSI), Advanced Open Water Diver (PADI) or equivalent certification. If you do not have those certifications yet, you will be at the best place to earn them as we have highly qualified and experienced diving team on the island.

The diving course fees are extra over the volunteer contribution as follows:

-    SSI Open Water Diver and SSI Advanced Adventurer course combined US$550 

-    SSI Advanced Adventurer (provided you already hold an Open Water Diver card) US$300.

Once again, we are not a business and we are reinvesting all the money we can find to save the archipelago and its unique ecosystems. We guarantee you will see clearly where your money goes once you arrive. If you can’t afford those fees, let us know how you can make positive changes to the ocean in Cambodia and we will try to work something out. Please remember though it is your contribution that keeps the wheels turning and allows not only you but also us, to continue making a difference and changing the tide of destruction that affects our Oceans.

Typical day

The typical day always depends on the specific missions we have to complete plus the weather and diving conditions. Therefore, we are organizing a new schedule every Monday that fits what we need to accomplish for the week. Volunteer participates both in land activities (presentations, artificial reef building, dolphin surveys, beach clean etc.) or underwater ones if the visibility allows it (scientific surveys, artificial reef deployment, fun dive etc.).

Free-time activities

We are the only ones that live on this island. As long as you respect everyone that lives within our community, you are free to do what you want, play a volleyball game, complete personal work, read in the hammocks, explore the jungle, dive and snorkel, gardening, building anything you need etc. Your only limit is your imagination, it is truly a beautiful place to spend your time whilst making a difference to ocean conservation.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Independent, dedicated to ocean protection, open-minded, curious
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Marine Conservation Cambodia

The current costs for staying with us vary depending on your length of stay, your experience and what you can personally offer to our project. 

The weekly fee covers all of your boat travels to and from the island, accommodation, food, diving (excluding courses) and other direct expenses needed to support you during your stay. It also includes a small amount that goes to cover project costs such as the Khmer staff wages, running and maintenance costs such as boats, electricity, water and materials needed to conduct the research.

We do NOT use any of your fees to cover administration costs, advertising costs or foreign staff wages.

For stays longer than 2 months, contact us to work out a cost that can be discussed to suit your budget whilst still allowing us to operate effectively.


We are the only ones that live on our remote island. It was a desert island before we arrived, we literally built everything here, from the pier to the bungalow to the volleyball court. There is no restaurant, no shop etc. We've built our village between the ocean and the jungle. We are all living in beach bungalows (maximum 6 people, most of the time 3 or 4) with bucket showers and bunk beads.

Dorm Room Bungalow
Food & Beverages

We have two amazing Khmer chefs that cook both Western and Khmer food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Drinks are also provided by MCC (except for alcohol).

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) in Phnom Penh. We assist you to find cheap flights to Cambodia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Cambodia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Cambodia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Cambodia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The closest airport is Phnom Penh Airport. Once your there, you've got several options to join Kep city, where you'll take the boat to come on Koh Seh.

Bus from Phnom-Penh city center to Kep : $6-9 ticket ; duration 4h

We can arrange a taxi to go and pick you up at the airport and bring you back to our boat, that will bring you on our island. However, it will be an extra 50$ on top of the fees, you may prefer to get a bus from Phnom Penh to Kep, where you'll get the boat.

Then you need to get our boat to reach our island. Arrivals are done every Sunday. Our boat leaves at 3:00 pm from Rabbit Island Pier in Kep Town. You do not have to purchase a boat ticket for this. Only our boat travels to Koh Seh.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
8 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$330 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Marine Conservation Cambodia will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Marine Conservation Cambodia during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Marine Conservation Cambodia cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Marine Conservation Cambodia.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Marine Conservationist

We have a unique marine environment here and some of it has never been surveyed before. We can guarantee you you'll make a genuine difference to its conservation.


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