Survey and safeguard the coral reefs and whale sharks of the Maldives archipelago
Who: Biosphere Expeditions
Focus: To survey coral reefs and monitor whale sharks.
When: July – August
Duration: 7 days
Suitability: All ages. There is no upper or lower age limit. Under 18s can join on their own providing they have their parent’s/ guardian’s permission.
Requirements: Volunteers must be PADI Open Water certified (or equivalent) before joining this expedition.
Cost: Expedition starts from GBP 1906.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Join a small group of fellow divers and volunteers onboard a modern liveaboard yacht as it explores the Maldives’ 26 coral atolls.
- Help marine biologists study and protect the Maldives’ coral reefs, and resident whale shark population.
- Become a Reef Check Ecodiver. Learn to identify and survey reef species that help indicative the health of the reefs, such as: sweetlips, groupers, snappers, parrotfish, butterflyfish, lobsters, sea whips, hard and soft corals, and sea urchins.
- Get the chance to see other rarer species including: spinner dolphins, manta rays, hawksbill and green sea turtles, grey, black tip and white tip reef sharks, rays, eels and octopus.
- Monitor the health of the Maldivian coral atolls, its fish and invertebrate communities so that informed management, education and conservation decisions can be made by the government and NGOs.
- Record whale sharks encountered during the expedition and, if possible, join the whale shark in-water to take pictures of their gill areas for identification purposes.
Note: The expedition’s main focus is carrying out coral reef surveys. Half a day (or one full day depending on the location of the research vessel and whale shark presence) will be dedicated to whale shark surveys.
Conservation Qualifications: Qualify as a Reef Check EcoDiver, and be eligible to apply for PADI or NAUI Reef Check Speciality Course certification after the expedition. Divers already holding a Reef Check EcoDiver card are more than welcome.
Accommodation: A luxurious and modern four-deck, 109 feet liveaboard boat with an air-conditioned lounge and an open-air dining area. The boat is accompanied by a 50-feet diving dhoni (boat) with multiple compressors, Nitrox and all facilities you would expect on a modern liveaboard.
Sleeping: Air-conditioned, 2-person cabins, all with en-suite toilet and shower facilities. Or you can spread out and sleep on the deck under the stars.
Food: A professional cook and crew provide all meals, and special diets can be catered for on request.
Base size: Up to 15 team members + 1-2 local scientists/Divemasters + 1 expedition leader/Divemaster.
The next step: Visit Biosphere Expeditions for more info and to book.
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