Marine Research Expedition Marine Research Expedition Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy Project Manaia
You will join an international crew aboard a sailboat to work for the protection of our seas. And you will learn to collect data, organize and enjoy the sea at its best!

15 Project reviews of Project Manaia

Project Details

Join us aboard a sailing research boat exploring the Marine wildlife of the Mediterranean sea. All while sailing one of the most amazing areas in the world.

- Who we are?

Project Manaia is a small and growing Marine Conservation/Research NGO, that was founded in 2015. Registered in Austria we are operating from aboard our Research Sailboat in the Mediterranean Sea. Our permanent volunteering crew of 2 is organizing the trips as well as the outreach from the boat while a few more volunteers on land help with "on shore" tasks on a weekly basis.

- What we do?

The organization is working towards "Healthy and living oceans" and as such most of our work is targeted towards baseline research, such as habitat mapping and species distribution. While the data is basic, those are also the kinds of information needed in order to create Marine protected areas or get specific marine species listed as protected species. With this in mind, we are using simple equipment and methods to create a big impact for better understanding of the marine environment and its residents.

- Where we work? 

Our work is currently focused entirely on the Mediterranean Sea. While it is one of the prime sailing regions of the world, this is also the sea with the highest amount of human impact working on it. With more shipping traffic, more tourism and fisheries as well as garbage in the water than any other sea in the world, this is the perfect testing ground to find solutions for all those existing issues.

Within the Mediterranean sea we are currently operating on the European side, which makes it an incredibly safe place to be: in regards to the people as well as health issues, as medical help is generally available and no special vaccinations (as in the tropic regions) are needed

- Our mission/vision

We made it our mission to keep our seas as healthy and full of life as they currently are. While the trend is certainly not working in our favor the work is more important than ever. We aim to work against the loss of habitats and the following biodiversity loss. With our work, we create both, a direct impact on those developments as well as a better understanding of those issues with the general public, which again leads to better protection in the long run.

- Our goals

The ultimate goal is of course to have a sea that is full of fish and life once again. However, as this will take some time, we are currently working towards more (and bigger) protected areas in the Mediterranean, but at the same time, a big part of the work is educational and outreach. In many parts along the coast, even the residents have limited knowledge and understanding of all the life they have below the surface. By showing people how fragile and yet important this ecosystem underwater is, we generate momentum within the local communities that we as a crew and international volunteers can carry out into the world and help to spread a message.

- Who are we looking for?

The perfect candidate to come on board is a motivated, self-driven ocean-loving individual! While no prior experience is needed and we are happy to teach all the necessary skillset on board any prior experience will of course help. The most important things are that you are motivated, you can swim, speak English and you are willing to help a common cause. If you can answer all those things with a yes, this qualifies you as a great candidate already!

- Why choose us?

While there is a variety of Organizations offering similar experiences, we truly believe that we can offer a unique experience in an amazing package: You get to be part of a research team, a sailing crew, and an international group while sailing in some of the most amazing areas of this planet. And during this time free time activities such as snorkeling and swimming actually become a part of the daily "work" while there is still ample time available to go paddleboarding, exploring on land, and hang out with your crewmates. And as we are a boat based operation, you will be not limited to one location but within a two-week stay will cover at least 100 nautical miles of coastline giving you a nice overview of an entire area and a chance to explore more than just one spot - both on land and of course underwater!

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Contact Person
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

With only a few years of work in the Mediterranean region we already managed to help with creating two Marine Protected areas in greek waters, collaborating with dive centers and local NGOs to speak out as one voice and push for better protection. With our baseline studies of habitat maps this push eventually led to official protection.

Within Croatian waters we collaborated with a variety of NGOs, assisting with health assessments of Posidonia oceanica (seagrass) along the entire coast of Croatia,  which as a protected species is crucial knowledge towards better protection of key locations.

With beach and underwater cleanup missions in the last years, we managed to remove more than 30 tons of garbage per year from the marine environment and by now can even showcase a working recycling solution on board to transform "trash to treasure".

And as one of our main concerns is education and outreach to involve even more people in our work and efforts in the future, we managed to reach more than 20.000 pupils in one single season and show them the state of our seas as well as providing them with everyday actions everyone can take to better protect our seas.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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