Whale Shark conservation

Project name:

Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute (LAMAVE) (5)

Project purpose:

Whale shark conservation

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • in-water surveys (snorkel/free diving)


Philippines (Cebu)

South-East Asia

1 Ratings


Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • field research skills

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • ​ publishes peer-reviewed science

Wild Sun Rescue Center


Shared accommodation

When does the project run?


accommodation included, food included

How long can I stay?


  • At least 21 years old

  • 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

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

This project has a minimum stay of 3 months

*There is a strict dress code at this project. Hot pants and short-shorts are forbidden, and shorts must be at least mid thigh in length. Shorts that reach just above the knee are preferred.

LAMAVE has been monitoring the whale shark provisioning at Cebu since early 2012. Our aim has been to understand how provisioning might affect the behaviour of whale sharks as well as the socio-economic implications such an activity and industry can have on the local community, and region. We are now monitoring the population of green and hawksbill turtles that use the area where the whale sharks are fed daily, and how their behaviour might shed some light on habitat use by turtles in the region.

Typically our day starts around 6am (some starting at 8am) and continues till around 4pm with a break for lunch. We currently conduct hourly in-water surveys from 7am till 1pm, which include photo-ID of both Whale sharks and turtles, as well as focal follows. For those who are assigned a land day, they can use this time to catch up on data entry or conduct other tasks to help push the project forward. You can also use that time to prepare lunch for the rest of the team. After 4pm is free time and time to socialize unless you are the chef of the evening! Each member of the team takes it in turn to cook a culinary masterpiece of their choosing. Dinner is served at 7pm and everyone helps to wash dishes so that we can start film night, go outside and study the stars, play board games or even sing karaoke at the local bar on celebratory occasions

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