Marine Research & Conservation Team

Fair Earth Foundation
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Coordinator | Megan
Coordinator | Megan
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Experience how to collect behavioural data from our land based stations - monitoring cetacean behaviour with and without boats present.
Combat plastic pollution by identifying types and amounts of plastic in relation to geographical positioning and levels of touristic development across Tenerife.
Incorporate passive acoustic monitoring, recording cetacean behaviour and photo identification from our research vessel.
Get a unique chance to raise awareness of marine conservation issues amongst tourists and locals.
Visit local and specialist places on island in your free time to discover the authentic Tenerife.
Work on our research vessel, monitoring the resident Short-finned Pilot Whale and Bottlenose Dolphin populations, through photo identification and behavioural monitoring. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+
As one of the top whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world, the south-west coast of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, is a truly outstanding location for the observation of free-living whales. There are 4 resident species which can be observed on perhaps 80% of the days of the year, including Short-finned Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins. There is also a total of 24 other species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year, including Blue Whales, Humpback Whales and Killer Whales.

Our Tenerife Volunteering Programme is run through our sister organisation: the Atlantic Whale & Dolphin Foundation (AWdF) will give you the perfect opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures and gain valuable experience in conservation as you spend your days researching whale and dolphin behaviour as well as raising awareness of the importance of marine conservation, globally.

There are 4 key research areas:
  1. Cetacean population dynamics
  2. Cetacean spatial ecology
  3. Cetacean behaviour
  4. Plastic research
With several research platforms:
  1. Land based station - monitoring cetacean behaviour with and without boats present.
  2. RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) - incorporating passive acoustic monitoring, recording cetacean behaviour and photo identification.
  3. Whale watching boats - centred around photo identification, recording cetacean behaviour, and raising public awareness amongst tourists.
  4. Land and sea based plastic monitoring - identifying types and amounts of plastic in relation to geographical positioning and levels of touristic development.
In addition to working on the whale watching boats and getting involved in various activities, we expect ALL volunteers to contribute either as individuals or in small teams to an aspect of our work through getting involved in a project of particular interest to them.

Typical day

Research Vessel Days

8:00am: Leave for the port
9:00-11:00am: Research vessel excursion (fin photography, behavioural monitoring, acoustic data collection, plastic pickup)
12:00pm: Lunch
13:00-15:00pm: Data analysis in the research room (photo identification, data input, data backup)
15:00pm: On site cleaning
16:00-18:00pm: Individual project work
19:00pm: Dinner

Land Based Station Days

8:00am: Leave for land base
9:00-11:00am: Sightings scanning (cetacean sightings, behavioural monitoring, vessel behaviour monitoring, coordinating with the research vessel)
12:00pm: Lunch
13:00-15:00pm: Data analysis in the research room (data input, data backup, photo uploads)
15:00pm: On site cleaning
16:00-18:00pm: Individual project work
19:00pm: Dinner

Plastic Research Days
Leave time depends on tide times
Travel to a selected beach around the island to collect samples for analysis of microplastics. Followed by 30 minutes of macroplastic collection and data collection. Analyses take place back at the research base, where data is inputted onto our hard drives.

Free-time activities

After work we have a selection of games on site for volunteers to play with one another. Volunteers can also enjoy watching films in our new research room on an evening. All of our weekend activities are provided by local ecotourism providers, that we have worked with for over 30 years. We provide 'familiarisation trips' around the island on a weekend for volunteers to explore and experience the delights of the authentic Tenerife. Activities include the following:

  • Sea Kayaking
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Surfing (and Kite Surfing)
  • Diving
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis
  • Hiking
  • Climbing
  • Horse Riding
  • Paragliding
  • Cycling
  • Dog Walking

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)
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Fair Earth Foundation

Breakfast and dinner



Equipment and training

Airport Pickup at Tenerife South Airport

We will be waiting outside the airport arrivals with the project vehicle to pick up the volunteer and drive them back to the base (30 minute drive). All volunteers have a call with the project manager before departure.


Rooms of 6 people, in bunkbeds and shared bathroom

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Breakfast and dinner are provided for all requirements.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Tenerife South Airport (TFS) in Tenerife. We assist you to find cheap flights to Spain.
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 Spain provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Spain you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Spain.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Volunteers can join our program throughout the year on a rolling basis. There are no specific start times.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$288 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Fair Earth Foundation 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 Fair Earth Foundation 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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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Fair Earth Foundation cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fair Earth Foundation.

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Marine Research & Conservation Team

Work on our research vessel, monitoring the resident Short-finned Pilot Whale and Bottlenose Dolphin populations, through photo identification and behavioural monitoring.


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