Madagascar is home to an amazing ecosystem that is a stunning mixture of its African and tropical influences. However, like many coastal areas in the world, the effects of people and climate change mean it needs intervention to remain at its best. This is a great chance to help with conservation efforts, learning and using scuba diving skills to get hands-on experience.
Marine Conservation volunteers in Madagascar can help to protect the natural plant and animal life by assisting different oceanographic organisations in a range of initiatives, including:
- Reef Surveying - helping to monitor the biodiversity, health and growth of the reef system around Nosy Komba through fish, invertebrates and coral surveys.
- Turtle Monitoring - establishing an estimated inventory and census of Madagascan turtles to help assess the success of conservation efforts.
- Nudibranch Research - conducting underwater surveys to determine the population and biodiversity of nudibranchs and other molluscs.
- Beach Cleans - removing damaging litter that can cause issues for local marine animals.
- Community - educating the local community about environmental issues such as conservation and the protection of biodiversity and marine resources
- Reef Regeneration - helping coral reefs to grow and become healthier, providing more habitat space for reef fish.
All volunteers receive comprehensive training to prepare for carrying out research-based activities at sea. This involves identification training for marine wildlife such as turtles, fish, corals and invertebrates. You’ll also be taught about coral baseline surveying, a key skill in marine conservation and the accepted approach to monitoring the state of coral reefs.
You can expect four dives per week, with one day spent on other activities such as snorkel surveys and dry activities. You’ll need to be a competent swimmer and have Open Water Dive Certification and Advanced Open Water Dive Certification. These courses can either be completed before you arrive in Madagascar, or you can do them when you arrive for the following prices:
- Open Water: US$440 (approximately AU$601)
- Advanced Open Water: US$320 (approximately AU$437)
This can be paid to the local team when you arrive in Madagascar. If you’re receiving your certification in Madagascar, you’ll also need to complete the PADI online theory course before your arrive.
All Marine Conservation volunteers are required to bring the following items to Madagascar, as these are not available for purchase on the island of Nosy Komba: a snorkel and mask (with tempered glass), dive fins (open heel with booties are more comfortable for frequent use), wetsuit (long or short, 3mm minimum), 2 x mouthpieces (to be used with regulators) and towels.
Additional recommended items for Marine Conservation volunteers: surface marker buoy (DSMB), reel (a small finger reel is fine), waterproof watch (resistant to 200 meters), dive computer/watch, dive compass, and dive torch.
This project has a minimum duration of four weeks to allow sufficient time to complete the training required to make a meaningful impact on the project. When you apply for this project, please specify whether you have diving certifications, or whether you will be taking the Open Water Dive/Advanced Open Water Dive course in Madagascar.Apply now