Shark Conservationist

Projects Abroad
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Coordinator | Bethany
Coordinator | Bethany
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

This program is perfect for adventurers and thrill-seekers with a passion for nature, marine life, and the outdoors
Work alongside scientists to protect one of the most endangered marine animals on the planet
Learn how to safely feed, identify, and tag sharks in their natural marine habitat all whilst gaining a PADI diver certification
Live alongside like-minded volunteers in shared accommodation, exchanging stories and creating new memories that will last a lifetime
Be fully immersed in the astounding nature and beauty that Fiji has to offer
Explore the underwater world of South Pacific sharks in our marine conservation program This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+
Singles
Couples

If you’re interested in a career in marine conservation, working with sharks is a great fit for you. You’ll be working with and learn from some of the top minds in marine biology. You’ll gain practical, hands-on experience in marine conservation, which will add valuable skills to your CV. The program will also give you unique points to talk about in applications and interviews. 

No experience? Don’t worry! You’ll receive full training in your first two weeks to gain your PADI Open Water certificate. This Projects Abroad experience is thrilling but entirely safe. You’ll always be supervised by expert diving instructors from our highly respected dive partners, Beqa Adventure Divers. Their safety record on shark dives is 100%. 

Are you an experienced diver? You’ll have the chance to gain specialized diving qualifications. These include PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Diver and our exclusive PADI Projects Abroad Survey Diver certificate, which includes training in underwater survey and research techniques. Those staying for eight weeks or more can also train as a Dive Master in this program.

Your work will focus on the following areas:

Get your PADI diving certification

We offer PADI certifications as part of this project because diving is central to the work you’ll do. If you’re a beginner, you’ll complete the PADI Open Water Dive Course during your first two weeks. If you already have diving experience you’ll complete the PADI Advanced Course or PADI Rescue Diver Course.

You’ll then complete the specialized PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Diver course. You’ll also receive plenty of training on fish identification, research, and survey techniques as part of the PADI Projects Abroad Survey Diver Distinctive Speciality Course.

Data collection

During the project, you’ll help staff collect data from survey dives, Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs), and shark tagging. This research is central to the project. We share it with global monitoring platforms such as eShark and SharkBase. In 2016, our marine biology research projects were one of the top five most important contributions to these databases.

You’ll collect data by:

  • Diving with bull sharks and collecting information on the behavior of individual sharks
  • Going on survey dives and recording details about different species
  • Assisting with deploying BRUVs, which we use to study sharks without human presence and interference
  • Observing as local staff tag juvenile sharks to learn more about their lifespan, nursery habitats, and reproduction 

Mangrove reforestation

As well as your core work with sharks, you’ll help care for mangrove seedlings in our mangrove nursery and replant mangroves along the coast.

Mangroves are one of the most important ecosystems in this region and help marine life conservation. They act as nurseries for many different fish species and help reduce carbon emissions. We’re working in partnership with local businesses to work out their carbon emission levels and plant enough mangroves to neutralize them.

Awareness and sustainability initiatives

Help reduce the 73 million sharks killed by humans each year through the campaigns you run. With workshops and outreaches, you’ll raise awareness of the importance of sharks, the impact they have on the ecosystem, and sustainability. You’ll help make sure that local people are involved in shark conservation work. You’ll also help ensure that younger generations continue to protect sharks in the future.

These are some of the activities our volunteers are involved in:

  • Conducting workshops to teach local people about the importance of marine conservation and living sustainably
  • Holding classes with school children on recycling, climate change, and sea creatures
  • Collecting plastic bottles from partner restaurants and resorts and repurposing them as pots for the mangrove nursery

Typical day

A typical workday will run from 7 am to 4 pm, Sunday to Thursday. All your activities will be supervised by trained local professionals, including qualified marine biologists.

After breakfast with the other volunteers, you’ll begin your project work. You’ll head out on a boat with our local staff and deploy two Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs). This is followed by a 90-minute scuba dive, monitoring and collecting data on the marine life you see. Our partner dive organization, Beqa Adventure Divers, is at the forefront of shark protection in Fiji. Their safety record on shark dives is 100%.

Then you’ll watch BRUV footage and record the species you see. You could also spend your afternoon teaching people in a nearby village about the importance of sharks in the ecosystem. This includes things like running an awareness workshop, teaching a class on recycling with schoolchildren, or attending a lecture on shark identification.

You’ll also participate in workshops to learn more about Fijian life. You’ll learn how to cook local food, make ‘bilo’ - traditional coconut cups, or weave palm fronds.

Over dinner, you can discuss the day’s adventures with the volunteers sharing this memorable experience with you. Your evenings will usually be free, giving you the opportunity to explore Fiji. Go trekking through the highland interior or attend a traditional festival. Alternatively, relax by the swimming pool, drinking kava and watching the sun setting over the sea on this island paradise.

Free-time activities

Experience the beauty of the South Pacific while volunteering with us in Fiji. This tropical island country has plenty of activities and must-see sights for you to enjoy in your free time.

We can’t talk about Fiji without mentioning the beaches. With their soft, white sand and clear, blue seas, they are the ideal place to relax and wind down after a day of volunteer work. With the beaches come a bunch of other exciting activities, like water sports and snorkeling.

For a culture-rich experience, you can explore the bright, rainbow-colored Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple. You can also spend time wandering through art galleries or browsing through stunning handmade pottery in Nadi.

The Kula Eco Park gives you the opportunity to see local plants and animals. For thrill-seekers, they also have a zipline going through the park!

You can explore all these different sights on your own or with a group. With so many volunteers joining us in Fiji each year, you’re bound to make some new friends to travel with. 

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Safari/
Zoo
Museum/
Opera

Require­ments

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 (basic level)
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 Sunday

What's Included

Services by Projects Abroad
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • A cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

  • PADI diving course

  • Diving equipment rental

  • A supervisor/mentor at your work placement

Airport Pickup at Nadi International Airport

A Projects Abroad staff member will be there to meet you when you first arrive at Nadi Airport (NAN). It’s only around a 15-minute drive to the centre of Nadi, where our office is based. The cost of your airport transfer is included in your initial project fee, so you don’t need to worry about extra expenses.

From the airport, you will be taken by taxi to your host family home. You can relax here and unpack before being picked up again later to complete your induction. You’ll have your induction in the Projects Abroad office and around your local area (a time will be confirmed with the local staff once you arrive).

If you’re going to be based at our Conservation Project in Pacific Harbor, then depending on the time of your arrival, you may stay the night in Nadi at a local host family. A member of staff will then collect you the following morning and put you on the bus to Suva.

If you arrive on an earlier flight, then you will be put on the next available bus to Pacific Harbor. Our staff will meet you at the bus stop, and take you to your accommodation.

Accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in Pacific Harbour. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.

The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. 

Guesthouse
Food & Beverages
Your program fees include three meals a day
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 Nadi International Airport (NAN) in Nadi. We assist you to find cheap flights to Fiji.
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 Fiji provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Fiji you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Fiji.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

You can work with sharks in Fiji year-round, so you can join whenever it suits your schedule. You can volunteer for a minimum of two weeks, but we recommend staying longer to have an even greater impact.

This program is paused due to COVID-19

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$3,083
3 weeks
$3,528
4 weeks
$3,973
5 weeks
$4,418
9 weeks
$6,198
17 weeks
$9,759
50 weeks (max. stay)
$24,446
Average fees
$1,015 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Projects Abroad 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 Projects Abroad 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 Projects Abroad cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Projects Abroad.

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Shark Conservationist

Explore the underwater world of South Pacific sharks in our marine conservation program

$787/week

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