Sharks swimming in Fiji while volunteers conduct research on marine conservation.

Best marine conservation volunteer projects in 2025

Scuba dive, reduce plastic pollution, clean beaches, and protect the planet’s marine life

By Amelia McKinlay | 06th June, 2019
Updated on 18th July, 2024

The ocean is the lifeblood of our planet. It generates the oxygen we breathe, regulates our climate, and provides us with food, medicine, transportation, and recreation.

Without the rich diversity of marine life, our very existence would be at risk.

However, plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change are impacting the health of marine animals and their habitats.

Wish you could help? We’ve got some of the best marine conservation volunteer projects anywhere in the world.

We are not an environmental charity but we take our impact seriously.

Keep reading to learn how you can get involved in marine conservation. These experiences could be your opportunity to learn more and contribute to solving a global problem.

Plus, take your first steps towards a degree or career in marine conservation.

Quick picks: Top marine conservation volunteering in 2025:

  1. Diving & Coral Reef Protection in Thailand
  2. Shark Conservation Volunteering in Fiji
  3. Giant Tortoise Conservation in the Galapagos Islands

Before we dive into these marine life volunteer opportunities in detail, here are some conservation FAQs.

Shark Conservation volunteers complete a beach clean up during their project in Fiji

What is a marine conservation programme?

A marine conservation volunteer programme is an initiative designed to involve individuals in the active protection and preservation of our ocean ecosystems.

These programmes aim to address the critical issues affecting marine habitats and species, such as plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

Conservation volunteers engage in activities like:

  • Scuba diving to monitor coral reefs
  • Participating in beach clean-ups to remove harmful waste
  • Assisting in wildlife conservation efforts
  • Contributing to marine biology research

These programmes also provide educational opportunities. As a marine conservation volunteer, you’ll receive training in marine science and conservation techniques.

Why join marine conservation volunteering abroad?

Becoming a marine conservation volunteer could launch a career in marine biology. Even if you’re not pursuing this profession, it’s no doubt a rewarding way to spend your time.

By volunteering to protect sealife, you’ll experience:

  1. The most spectacular scenery, from the colourful corals of Thailand to the gorgeous Galapagos Islands.
  2. Up-close encounters with amazing animals, from sharks to giant tortoises.
  3. Cultural immersion, working and living with islanders and coastal workers around the world.

Few opportunities are quite as enriching as exploring the world, protecting vulnerable animals as you go.

How do you get into marine conservation?

Launching a career in marine biology can have a huge impact – both on you and the planet.

Whether you’re a budding biologist, concerned about climate change, or just adore animals, here’s how to get started:

  1. Educate yourself: Find a marine conservation project that includes workshops and lectures. It’s important that you have a solid understanding of how marine ecosystems work.

  2. Gain experience: Participate in internships, volunteer programmes, or research projects that offer hands-on work. Assist with local beach clean-ups, plant mangroves, and collect data on marine wildlife.

  3. Get certified: Many marine conservation volunteers have the option to obtain scuba diving certification. This opens up countless opportunities to participate in underwater conservation activities.

  4. Network and connect: Building connections within the marine wildlife community can open so many doors. Find a reputable organisation that will connect you with other volunteers and interns.

  5. Stay informed: Marine conservation is a dynamic field with ongoing research and emerging challenges. Stay updated with the latest news, research, and policy developments related to marine conservation.

  6. Advocate and educate: Raising awareness about marine conservation issues is the key to solving them. Use your knowledge and experience to educate others, whether through social media, public speaking, or writing.

Want to protect marine habitats, but don’t know where to start? These are our top three marine conservation projects!

1) Go scuba diving in Thailand to protect coral reefs

Join our Marine Conservation Programme on the stunning beaches of Koh Tao, Thailand.

It’s a chance to get Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certification while protecting this idyllic island ecosystem.

Once certified, you'll dive into conservation activities, including:

  • Conducting marine surveys
  • Planting coral
  • Restoring mangroves
  • Joining beach clean-ups
  • Raising awareness of ocean conservation

Coral propagation is a cost-effective method for preserving endangered marine species. It does this by reducing the strain on natural reefs.

Meanwhile, mangroves protect shorelines from erosion while absorbing large amounts of carbon. This forms part of our commitment to sustainability.

Our Marine Conservation Projects in Thailand:

Projects Abroad volunteers clear fishing nets from the coral reefs during their Conservation Project in Thailand

2) Join shark conservation efforts in Fiji

As apex predators, sharks play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems. This project in Fiji is a chance to come face-to-face with sharks to ensure their survival.

"It was insane that our first experience as newly certified divers would be shared with more than 30 bull sharks. I was amazed with all the work done through the shark dive. The team were amazing and made sure everyone felt safe and secure throughout the dive. I am itching to go back and experience it all again." - Nina, Shark Conservation High School Special in Fiji

For adventurers with a passion for the marine environment, this project offers exposure to cutting-edge research and hands-on conservation work.

By volunteering with sharks in Fiji, you will:

  • Gain PADI diving certification
  • Collect marine wildlife data during survey dives
  • Plant carbon-absorbing mangroves along the coast
  • Run education campaigns in the local community

Your work will make a real impact on reducing the number of sharks killed by humans each year. By raising awareness about the importance of sharks to the planet, this impact will remain long after you leave.

Our Marine Conservation Projects in Fiji:

A shark spotted while on a marine dive during the Conservation Project in Fiji

3) Protect Marine animals in the Galapagos Islands

Channel your inner Charles Darwin and join this unparalleled marine conservation programme in the Galapagos Islands!

As the only organisation with an official partnership with the Galapagos National Park, this is an opportunity you won’t find elsewhere.

On this project, you will:

  • Monitor petrel birds
  • Survey marine iguanas
  • Count sea lions
  • Care for giant tortoises
  • Clean beaches of hazards, restoring natural habitats

This vital work helps us track and preserve the rich and unique biodiversity of the islands.

The Galapagos are a hotbed of biodiversity. Immerse yourself in it and help protect it for years to come.

Our Conservation Projects in Ecuador:

A marine iguana lies on a rock on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador

Saving the ocean is within your grasp! Join one of our Marine Conservation Projects and start protecting marine life today.

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