Shark Conservation Assistant Research Diver

Our mission is to promote shark conservation and conduct citizen scientific research essential for effective marine conservation management worldwide. Support us now!

The Program

Gili Shark Conservation project is a small conservation and data collection program seeking hardworking and enthusiastic volunteers who want to live and work in paradise while making a difference on their holiday. It is the first of it’s kind in the Gili Islands, and takes an active role in conservation issues in Indonesia’s three Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air.

This dive intensive program is located on the quiet and relaxed island of Gili Air. As a volunteer with Gili Shark Conservation, you will be working alongside experienced underwater researchers and learning about the fragile ecosystem and its many living organisms. It combines a nice balance between work and play while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings of this jewel in the Gillis.

There are many ongoing projects including roaming survey dives, BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) data collection, photographic identification of our resident sharks and turtles, island wide shark and ray abundance surveys beach and underwater clean ups, community work with the local schools, and environmental events and workshops to help the Gili Matra Marine Reserve and the environment of Gili Air. 

In the first week, our volunteers will be apart of an intensive training period for both scuba diving and scientific methodology training. This includes orientation to the island and the project, fish identification, BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) methodology, shark conservation course, scientific diver specialty course, and much more. 

We have a 5-day work schedule. 4 days a week our volunteers take part in 2 survey dives and BRUV drop and retrieval in the morning and either data analysis/input, lectures, or workshops in the afternoons. 1 day a week we organize community days including beach and underwater clean ups with Gili Cares Foundation, or going into our local school to help in the classrooms. We also conduct alternating weekly night dives and sunrise dives so we can explore the Gili Islands reefs during all hours of the day.

We spend most of our time in 2 locations, at the Project Villa and at the dive shop. Villa Nangka is located in the middle of island in a quite tropical garden with shared volunteer accommodation, office space, and pool. We also spend our mornings at the Gili Islands Divers shop on the north side of the island, around a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride from the volunteer accommodation. The dive shop is located inside the Grand Sunset Resort which allows our volunteers to use all of their amenities. 

Program fees includes shared accommodation in one of the premiere villa's on the island, 3 meals a day with a delicious menu of both local and western dishes, dive courses from Open Water Diver course all the way to Dive Master rating, diving fees and equipment rental, in-country transfers from airport or hotel in South Bali or Lombok, and much more! Our goal is to make sure your trip is covered so you can focus on the work instead of worrying about the hassle of traveling.

For decades, Indonesia has been ranked as the number one shark fishing nation in the world. The overfishing has resulted in a greatly reduced number of sharks in the local waters. Make a real difference in conservation through research and data collection and through local awareness events to help save the sharks of Indonesia! 

Living on Gili Air

There is never a dull night on Gili Air. You can enjoy a fresh organic meal while watching the sunset over Bali’s famous volcano, or go watch the local reggae band play under the stars. There are plenty of daytime activities in the area that you can enjoy on your weekends including waterfall hikes, surfing and kite surfing, an assortment of water sports, or just hang out on the beach. Bali is only 40km (25 miles) away and can easily be visited on your weekends.

Gili Air is a small and safe island with no cars or motorbikes. Everyone rides on bicycles or on the locally run horse carts. This means the air is clean and the island is quite! It only takes 1 hour to walk around the entire island and only 10 minutes to bike to the opposite side. The accommodation is located in a quite area of the island but only a 5-minute bike ride to the dive shop and 3-minutes from the main village where you will find the local market and all your amenities. You can buy everything on the island from shampoo to fresh fruit. If you are looking for something more specific you will be able to find it in the new western shopping mall located an hour away in the main city called Mataram.

The local cuisine is an assortment of rice and noodles with fresh vegetables and free roaming meats. And of course a lot of chili sauce! There is a variety of different kinds of restaurants on the island both local and foreign. All meals are provided at the project, but we recommend trying out some of the amazing food on the island.

You will also have the opportunity to learn to speak the basics of the local language of Bahasa with weekly language classes with a local Indonesian teacher.

We are very close to the equator and it can be very hot, usually between 28-35 degrees Celsius. There is no air conditioning or hot water available but there is a pool to cool of in, a fan provided for each room and the sea breeze can be felt across the island. This is a remote island where you should expect rolling blackouts, power shortages, and no hot water. But it’s all part of the adventure!

Suitable for


Typical day

  • 7:30 am: Breakfast
  • 8:30 am: Meeting at the Dive Shop
  • 9:00 am: Survey Dive 
  • 11:00 am: Nasi break
  • 11:30 am: BRUV Drop/Photographic ID dive
  • 2:00 pm: Lunch at Nangka
  • 3:00-5:00 am:  Data Input and Analysis/Community Day and Workshops!

Once a week we have Bahasa language classes and an Indonesian cooking class.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
Dive medical
Other Skills
You need to be able to swim and be comfortable on boats.

All other skills are welcome! We encourage our volunteers to give back any way they can.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 08:00 - 16:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Indonesia? Volunteer World directly connects you with Gili Shark Conservation

Shark Conservation Assistant Research Diver The morning commute! Shark Stanley and Volunteers Home sweet home! Villa Nangka Data time at project headquarters green turtles at Secret Garden dive site The Gili Islands Diving in the Gilis Underwater clean up Survey Diving Gili Islands Dive Boat Gili Islands Divers Underwater beach clean up Setting the Underwater Video system Villa Nangka, the volunteer accommodation Learning to Dive at Gili Islands Divers

Free-time activities

Our work week runs Tuesday-Saturday allowing our volunteers to explore the Gili Islands, Lombok, and Bali on their weekends.

With both tourist attractions and off the beaten track destinations close by you will always be planning your weekend adventures. The Gili Islands are a dive destination, however yoga and a variety of water sports are a key component to the lifestyle in Gili Air.

Water Sports


What's included?
1 dive course every 5 weeks - scientific diver rating - shark diver specialty rating - 8+ dives per week (all inclusive) - shared accommodation in private villa with pool & Wifi - transfer from hotel/airport in Bali or Lombok to the project - 3 meals per day during work week - and more!

What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

Boats leave from Bali three times a day from 9am - 3pm. Airport pick up and shuttle to Padang Bai (the main harbour for the Gili Islands) and 2 hour boat ride to Gili Air is included in your program fee. A staff member will be waiting for you in the harbour to escort you to you're new home at Villa Nangka. If you arrive past 12pm you will have to book into a hotel in Bali where the shuttle will pick you up first thing in the morning.


Our volunteer accommodation and Project office is located at Villa Nangka, one of the premiere villa's on the island. This quite and peaceful home away from home is located in the middle of the island and has a shared outdoor kitchen, large swimming pool, and huge tropical garden. There is fast wifi all throughout the premises, hot water, and rooms with fans or aircon.

Dorm Room Hotel Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

3 meals per day are provided during the work week.
Breakfast - continental breakfast. eggs, toast, pancakes, musli, and yogurt is available in the communal kitchen.
Lunch - always different! Wraps, pasta, fresh salad, mixed rice dishes, and sandwiches are always on the menu
Dinner - you can receive an optional weekly dinner allowance and enjoy the many international and local restaurants on the island

We cater to all dietary needs.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
10 weeks
18 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Gili Air/Indonesia between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Gili Shark Conservation will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 Gili Shark Conservation during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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The nearest airport is Ngurah Rai International (DPS) in Denpasar. We assist you to find cheap flights to Indonesia.
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Villa Nangka, Gili Indah, Gili Air, Indonesia