CARIBBEAN CORAL REEF CONSERVATION IN CARRIACOU

“Volunteer for 2 or 4 weeks as part of a small group of NGO divers and biologists. Dive training, island life, and learning how to conserve the marine ecosystem is complimented by accommodation in a local guest house near the project site”

Highlights

PADI Open Water Dive training | PADI Advanced Open Water training | Reef monitoring training | Data collection dives | Caribbean lionfish containment course | Tobago Cays Marine Park | High North nature reserve | Sandy Island |

Description of CARIBBEAN CORAL REEF CONSERVATION IN CARRIACOU

Travel to this idyllic Caribbean setting in the southern Grenadines, and learn how to dive in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean island, Carriacou. You will join a volunteer team participating in a number of underwater conservation projects including coral reef conservation and hunting invasive lionfish.

Upon joining Caribbean Reef Buddy, you will be working with an authorized NGO consisting of a team of dive professionals and marine biologists dedicated to marine conservation.

Volunteers are asked to sign up for a two or four week conservation experience. During this time volunteers will complete their PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses, and receive training in advanced diving techniques, including buoyancy control, underwater photography, and navigation.

Thanks to a partnership with a local PADI 5-Star Dive Centre, volunteers will benefit from world class dive instruction as they strengthen their skill set and gain work/life experience.

Joining the Caribbean Reef Buddy team will go beyond benefitting the marine environment, to positively impact the local human population. Healthy reefs support coastal communities that rely on abundant near-shore ecosystems to provide food and support local sustainable tourism industries that depend on a diverse marine environment.

Volunteers are invited to join the coral reef conservation team, and will undertake the following activities depending on their length of stay:

PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses, or fun dives for those already qualified
Lectures, classes & support from resident biologists
Advanced dive training including:
Navigation and Buoyancy Techniques
Coral and Fish Identification.
Digital Underwater Photography.
Training in equipment maintenance.
Lionfish containment, including hunting, analysis and data collection.
Internationally recognized reef survey protocols, fish, benthic and coral survey techniques, including Reef Check.


Day trip to snorkel with Green and Hawksbill turtles in Tobago Cays Marine Park, the setting of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Snorkel trips and BBQs at the beautiful Sandy Island.
Hike through the Nature Reserve to the summit of High North.


Everything is set up for you to have an enjoyable educational experience with a balance of work, play and relaxing on the beach. All equipment is provided, including course materials, dive gear and research tools. Half-board accommodation is included in the outlined costs, and situated at a family-run hotel, just 2 minutes walk from the dive centre and beach. The owner, Mishka, and her partner Tim, are on hand to provide a welcoming atmosphere, delicious breakfasts, and evening meals. Additional marine excursions can be booked with your hosts at the guest house.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates

For departure dates contact us on 01273 823 700
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: CARIBBEAN CORAL REEF CONSERVATION IN CARRIACOU

Environment

We are a marine conservation NGO dedicated to working with key stakeholders to help preserve and protect the fragile coral reef ecosystem around the beautiful island of Carriacou. Current project work includes:

Reef monitoring to facilitate informed decision making concerning the governance and regulation of fishing practices on the island.

Lionfish containment: In conjunction with GEF, the selection, training and subsequent payment of locally sourced men and women to form a Lionfish hunting team. With the aim of limiting the impact of this invasive species, the team conduct regular cull dives as well as organising community events aimed at increasing the awareness of the threat and to promote the consumption of the fish as a primary protein source.

Coral nursery: In conjunction with UNEP, the selection and training of locally sourced coral gardeners, the construction and population of a Elkhorn coral nursery, including regular cleaning and measurements. As of now, coral fragments are undergoing out planting and thus helping to restore the natural reef barrier in an effort to combat the ongoing threat of coastal erosion.

As part of wider environmental concerns, the team, community members and volunteers conduct regular beach clean ups to help alleviate the impact of of waste products and debris and their contribution to marine and coral reef pollution.

Whilst water is piped, CRB and the associated dive centre utilise large water bowsers to collect rain water which is used as the 'source of choice' for the majority of the year.

Community

All of our past, present and future project work will have an important community aspect. This ranges from training and employment through to community liaison and workshops. To date, we have selected and trained 16 locally sourced divers who are actively involved in our project work.

As a team, we are always on the look out for 'shining stars', one such individual was identified in 2016 and has completed his professional training up to the instructor level, including becoming a Reef Check Instructor, as such he will play a full and active role in training the volunteers visiting in 2017 and beyond.

As part of our Lionfish programme, we identified a need to involve as many community members as possible. One target group was local artists and jewelry makers who received special training and supplies of equipment to produce Lionfish jewelry constructed from the spines and fins of the fish. Two very successful jewelry makers have now through our connections established regular supply to US based outlets.

During our volunteer season, we have specifically selected a locally owned and run hotel, thus ensuring a very valuable revenue stream for the owners. In addition, we organise, 'out of working hours' trips to locally owned bars and restaurants in order to ensure maximum community benefit from these visitors.

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