Belize marine conservation internship
Description of Belize marine conservation internship
Take your time over four weeks to learn the intricacies and practicalities of conserving the marine ecology of Belize. This is a fantastic way for participants to experience real world conservation efforts, while having great fun! You will get hands-on experience for marine conservation work and gain real world insight on what it is like to actually work in the field of marine conservation.
This tailor made internship teaches students through hands-on training and day-to-day tasks and whilst you will be working you'll also have every opportunity to have fun and enjoy life in the Caribbean.
The diving potential is absolutely amazing and you'll gain first-hand experience of marine conservation as well as the range of methodologies used within an underwater environment.
Candidates will be looking to increase their experience of working as part of a marine conservation team. This will be extremely worthwhile for anyone looking to work or study within a science and environmental field.
As part of the conservation work, participants will be undertaking a variety of tasks including: lobster and queen conch surveys, coral reef data collection, reef habitat and coral identification dives, whale shark watch, and tackling invasive lion fish through spear fishing.
During your internship you'll learn the following:
PADI dive qualifications or extend current PADI qualifications and experience;
Learn, understand and practise a wide range of integral research techniques;
Advance your understanding and knowledge of the coral, fish and invertebrates of the Caribbean;
Face up and acknowledge the threats to the underwater environment of Belize and surrounding islands;
Gain work experience as part of a marine biology team
Gain invaluable insight and practical understanding of marine park management and communicating with fisheries officers;
Gain first-hand experience of the effects of sustainable fishing regulations on Caribbean island communities;
PADI Dive Courses Offered on the Island
We have many dive courses available to help you develop your scuba and marine conservation skills while on the island volunteering with us. Below is the price our program charges for each PADI certification course and how long it will take you to complete the certification course on the island. Please note the Open, Advanced, Rescue, and Dive Master certifications require the PADI e-Learning prior to arrival.
PADI Open Water Certification $150 USD (3 days)
PADI Advanced Open Water Certification $200 USD (1 week)
PADI Rescue Diver Certification $250 USD (1 week)
PADI Dive Master Certification $400 USD (4 week minimum stay)
PADI Specialty Course: Invasive Lionfish $100 USD (3 days)
PADI Specialty Course: Coral Reef Conservation $100 USD (3 days)
PADI Specialty Course: Fish Identification $100 USD (3 days)
PADI Specialty Course: Deep Diver $100 USD (3 days)
PADI Specialty Course: Emergency First Response $100 USD (2 days)
1 Reviews of Belize marine conservation internship
Reviewed on 21 Mar 2014 by Simon Timms
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
1. Snorkeling with the whale sharks.
2. Good diving instruction to next level of qualification.
3. Chance to do conservation surveys as something more than that which you
usually do on a regular dive holiday.
4. chance to dive in Caribbean at dive sites that are not crowded, never were
there other dive boats at the sites we dived, thus only 4 to 8 divers at the
site from the boat.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
1. To the extent your baggage allowance allows it, take items identified
including any surplus dive gear, given that special things and items of quality
e.g. towels can be difficult to get in southern Belize.
2. Recognise you are staying on a Caye/island off a less developed country, so
accommodation is not luxury but adequate, and pack accordingly e.g need tough not fine clothing.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, locals were employed for boat driving, cooking, housecleaning etc.
Supported conservation with surveys etc as would be expected.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
PlanetWe are a not for profit marine conservation company that focus on conserving the environment by using recreational divers to sustain the organisation.
We are working alongside the Belizean Department of Fisheries and local NGOs to monitor and maintain the marine environment of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, Southern Belize. Work includes the surveying and monitoring of commercial species such as lobster and conch, surveying and helping to protect the spawning fish aggregations, water quality testing, turtle conservation, MBRS surveys and Reef Check surveys for long term global studies and analysis. We are active members of PADI Project AWARE Coral Watch and Whale Shark programmes and also work with Belizean based Ecomar to help remove the invasive non-native lionfish from Belizean waters. Not only are we removing the lionfish from Belizean waters (and feeding our guests) we are also trying to introduce them to the local food chain and are currently having success with large groupers, triggerfish and moray eels. We have also managed to get lionfish on the menu at an exclusive restaurant and are hoping this inspires other restaurants to follow suit. Therefore making a market for the local fisherman.
PeopleWe are located in Placencia, a small beach village in Southern Belize. We bring tourists to the area who would not ordinarily visit bringing with them much needed revenue. They spend money in restaurants, local stores, hotels and with tour guides. All of our supplies are bought locally from the market and general stores.
We are very aware of our environmental impact and have taken many measures to reduce it. Rain water is our main source of water on the island, bicycles are our preferred mode of transport in town and by eating fresh locally produced food our carbon footprint is reduced.
It is also important to us that our guests integrate into the local community. We employ Belizean people and we run a training program for the youths, where we give young people the chance to become Dive Masters and thus obtain well paid jobs in the touristy resorts such as San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.