Marine Conservation

Project name:

Marine Conservation Cambodia

Project purpose:

Marine Conservation (coral reefs, dolphins, seahorses, seagrass meadows etc.)

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

  • teaching

  • scuba diving

Marine

Cambodia

South-East Asia

Weekly cost (approx USD):

$

350

Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

  • gain a qualification and/or credit

  • report writing

  • remote scenic location

  • undertake your own research

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • contributes to environmental policy

  • development goals (supporting local community)

  • publishes work

Accommodation:

Shared bungalows by the beach with maximum 6 people

Requirements:

  • Dedication towards ocean protection

Facilities:

accommodation included, food included, cooking facilities, electricity, refillable drinking water, bucket shower, cold shower,, western toilets. Koh Seh is unique. We are the only one to live on our remote island. It was a desert island before we arrived, we literally built everything here, from the pier to the dive center or the volleyball court. We are in general between 20 and 30 people on Koh Seh. There is no restaurant or shop, just our community, mixing Khmers and international volunteers. Our village has been build in harmony between the ocean and the jungle because we think this is the perfect place to develop conservation activities!

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

Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC) is a non-profit NGO that has been protecting Cambodia’s ocean since 2008. We were the very first organization to actively work on the ground on marine conservation in Cambodia. For the past years, we have pioneered marine research and conservation in order to save endangered marine life and habitats, first in Koh Rong Archipelago and now in Kep. Since we relocate in 2013, incredible changes have occurred. New marine species coming back regularly, coral thriving, dolphins returning. It’s like witnessing a dying person coming back to life. We have also established long-term relationships with local small-scale fishing communities, which have helped provide MCC with a complete understanding of the most pressing issues that impact both people and the environment. We need more people able to help us in tracking this recovery in cooperation with local communities so we can prove conservation efforts even in damaged areas will bring results. 

By joining MCC team, you will participate in a direct way to the protection and restoration of the ocean, as well as contributing to reports for the national government. From our reef monitoring program, to our seahorse data collection or our dolphin project, volunteers can participate in numerous scientific activities on land and underwater, after completing the right training, provided by our scientific team. They can also join our artificial reef program to deploy structures that will protect Kep’s waters for years. We hope those structures will only be the beginning later to be complemented with fish aggregation devices or wild oyster aquaculture. We’ll definitely need motivated volunteers to help realize this massive project.

As you might have realized, most of our activities happen underwater for which you need a minimum of an Advanced diver certification. If you do not have those certifications yet, you will be at the best place to earn them as we have highly qualified and experienced diving team on the island.

Regarding the island living fees, the price can vary depending on the amount of time you are willing to commit and your experience in marine conservation.

At MCC we are always looking for those dedicated volunteers and interns who truly want to make a difference. If you are looking for a beachside vacation with the odd dive here or there, MCC probably isn’t the place for you. We do NOT offer voluntourism, we do not try to sell you something we think you want, we integrate you into our team and continue the work we have been entrusted to carry out involving you and utilising your skills and passion, our goal is conservation and the regeneration of a once beautiful area that is in the beginnings of recovery.

 

While at Marine Conservation Cambodia our volunteers will learn multiple survey techniques as well as other types of marine conservation practices. We currently teach our volunteers surveying techniques and general knowledge in 10 crucial areas. 

 

  1. Fish Species Identification and Abundance

  2. Invertebrate Species Identification and Abundance

  3. Substrate Identification and Health 

  4. Seagrass Density and Identification 

  5. Seahorse Identification, Behavior and Distribution

  6. Marine Mammal Monitoring, Abundance, Distribution and Behavior

  7. Community Socio-Demographic

  8. Marine fisheries resources Management

  9. Marine Protected Area Management and Policy

  10. IUU

  11. We are also looking for people to independently study the wide variety of Seagrasses and Algae's that we have, and also to continue our species database for Kep's ocean

How long can I stay?

When does the project run?

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Reviews & ratings

Reiss

I spent a month volunteering with Marine Conservation Cambodia in 2018.

It's an incredibly worthwhile project and it's really making a positive impact both on the marine life and government legislation in the Kep Archipelago. My time was spent helping to build artificial reef structures, learning (and being tested) about the local marine life, taking part in dolphin surveys and searching for seahorses in the surrounding reef.

You and the rest of the MCC crew are the only ones living on the island, which is an experience in itself. The living conditions are basic I.e. bucket showers, limited electricity, no WiFi.

My only negative is the diving. When considering volunteering with MCC I was told I could dive 4 times a day, which to me justified the (in my opinion) expensive cost of the programme ($300 a week). However what was not made clear to me, was that this would all be shore dives on the local reef which was severely damaged by illegal trawling, with a maximum depth of around 5m. As you can imagine it was frustrating to only find this out when I arrived. I don't blame anyone and I'm sure they didn't decide not to tell me on purpose, but it was frustrating nonetheless.

So if you want to really make a difference, this programme is the one for you. Just bare in mind the diving is awful.

Volunteer

Amazing Project But Come Prepared