Whale Shark conservation
Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute (LAMAVE) (6)
Whale shark conservation
in-water surveys (snorkel/free diving)
Weekly cost (approx USD):
Direct benefits you gain:
field research skills
remote scenic location
Noteworthy conservation points:
publishes peer-reviewed science
The project house is a communal, shared living space. There is a kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, a communal space and an outside porch with a table and chairs for relaxing. Beds are within shared bedrooms, usually two separate beds per bedroom as the bedroom space is small, and each volunteer will be given a storage container for their personal items
At least 21 years old
Minimum commitment of 3.5 months
Proficiency in English & computer skills
Excellent swimming/snorkelling skills and ability to free-dive to 10m
Physically fit enough to spend several hours a day on a boat and/or in the water, frequently in rough conditions and current
Ability to live closely with a small community and respect their culture
Able to work independently and as part of a team
Comfortable living in a shared home and in a remote setting with extremely basic amenities
Strong work ethic with a willingness to work long and sometimes irregular hours if necessary
A degree in marine science, zoology, environmental sciences or related subjects are preferred
Strong interest in marine biology, research and conservation
accommodation included, food included, poor wifi, local shops and nearby facilities, fan in bedroom
Details of the day-to-day life on the project:
This project has a minimum volunteer duration of 3.5 months
The Puerto Princesa whale shark project works out of Honday Bay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan with the objective of assessing the seasonal distribution of whale sharks in the area. Our goal is to identify individual whale sharks and their movement in the area using non-invasive methods such as photo identification and GPS tracking. We hope to gain an overview and a better understanding of the presence and ecology of whale sharks visiting Honday Bay in order to assist in their conservation by working with local government units and the local comunity. This could be in the form of an advisory role for potential conservation laws as Palawan has a separate and indipendent governing body for natural resource management from the entire Philippines (Palawan Council fo Sustainable Development) or sharing our work and best management practices at Information Education Communication events at local schools/barangay meetings. Some questions we would like to address are whether the whale sharks visit the bay because of the presence of a particular type of prey or are opportunistically feeding on different prey species, whether these individuals have been sighted in other project sites within the Philippines and/or internationally via satellite tagging, abundance of whale sharks per season, and human-shark interactions that can affect the rising whale shark tourism industry within he area. This is accomplished by conducting randomised surveys around the bay on both a pumpboat and on board the local tourist boat.
Day to day life
The team work a 6-day week, with one day off a week. Days off are on a rotation schedule. An average day starts at 6:00AM and work generally finished by 3:00PM, or once tasks are complete. Weather dependent, you will be in the water 4-5 days and on land 1-2 days a week. During an average day you will conduct in-water surveys, meaning you will be in the water for approximately 2-3 hours a day. Volunteers must be strong swimmers and feel comfortable swimming in the ocean for prolonged periods of time
How long can I stay?
When does the project run?
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