How to choose a marine conservation holiday

From the Maldives to Mexico, Canada to Costa Rica, the locations that host marine conservation holidays are as diverse as the work you'll do on them, so it's essential that you have an idea of the trip that you want and are clear on the kind of work that each trip involves before signing up

On the land or in the water?

All projects will accept that you are giving up your free time and that you want to make a valid contribution to their initiative, but how you make that contribution depends mainly upon whether you want to work under the water, or outside of it. First, ask yourself if youíre a diver, and if youíre not then ask yourself if diving is something that youíve always wanted to do.
If youíre already a diver, do you want to build on that that skill and use it to do something that will really benefit the environment? If youíve answered yes to any of these questions then itís likely marine conservation in the water Ė helping out with reef protection work, collecting data, fish ID sessions and surveys Ė is the right holiday for you. These trips largely involve early morning starts, up to three dives a day and lectures, presentations and talks in the evening.

Research, research and research again

The accommodation, level of involvement with the local community and amount of time youíll spend working throughout the day or night varies greatly with each different trip, so the most important thing you can do when choosing a marine conservation holiday is research as much as you can. Speak to your tour operator in detail and find out what the aims of the project are and what activities you will be doing on a daily basis, but also what theyíve already achieved, so you can get an idea of what past volunteers have helped to make happen. Itís also a good idea to ask where the data is going Ė is it being fed into local marine fisheries departments, or being used in collaboration with local or international universities? You want to ensure that your time, money and energy is being made the most of and that the initiative is making progress in a conservation area that you feel passionate about.

Finding a marine conservation trip that matches both your own interests and your skill level is as important as your enthusiasm and commitment while youíre there Ė match the holiday to your own expectations and not only will you learn and achieve loads, but youíll also have lots of fun with a group of like minded people while doing it.

Our top Marine conservation Holiday

Mozambique marine conservation project

Mozambique marine conservation project

Help in integral marine conservation in stunning Mozambique

From £2199 to £7499 14 days ex flights
Tailor made:
You can start this project on any day of the year
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Marine conservation or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Expert advice from our suppliers

Anne Smellie, from our supplier, Oyster Worldwide, shares her advice on how to choose a marine conservation holiday: "If you are looking to do a project, you need to go with a company or organisation that thoroughly briefs you on all aspects of the trip, so that your expectations are managed and correct from the outset. If that doesnít happen you could think youíre booking something completely different to what it actually isnít and youíll arrive disillusioned and unhappy, plus the project wonít be happy with you because you will have turned up with all of the wrong expectations. Itís the tour companyís responsibility to make sure youíre prepared, so itís essential to ask as many questions as you like and find out why the conservation is happening and what sort of things youíll be doing to support the work."
Written by Polly Humphris
Photo credits: [Page banner: USFWS - Pacific Region] [On the land or in the water: Henrik Hedegaard] [Research: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast] [Getting your hands dirty: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast]