Volunteer to conserve turtle habitats in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia.

The Great Projects

Perhentian Islands Marine Project

: The Great Projects

Where: Pulau Kecil, The Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Focus: Scuba dive to help preserve turtle habitats through coral reef surveying, artificial reef assessments and mapping seagrass areas.

When: March to October | Project start date is a Monday.

Duration: 3-8 weeks (min. 4 week stay for non-certified divers).

Suitability: Over 18s. Group bookings available.


  • Certified Divers: 3 weeks from GBP 990.
  • Non-certified Divers: 4 weeks from GBP 1590.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Focusing on three main areas of marine and turtle conservation: seagrass mapping, artificial reef assessments and coral reef mapping.
  • Bring about a better understanding of the underwater environment around the island.
  • Look at ways to ensure sustainable fishing can be carried out to enable the protection of sea turtles who visit, feed and nest on and around the islands.
  • Become an Advanced Open Water diver.
  • Learn about different types of substrate and how to record them.
  • Take part in seagrass mapping and surveying to better understand the key feeding grounds for turtles.
  • Learn various corals and take part in coral reef mapping using the transect intercept method.
  • Dive and assess sunken artificial reefs using video transect surveys to collect data on fish quantities and health.
  • Perform further assessments, such as collecting data loggers for sea temperature, water quality, turbidity, wave height, salinity and more.
  • Work closely with locals to expand awareness of the damage that unsustainable diving and snorkeling practices can cause.
  • Take part in awareness campaigns, such as reef and beach clean ups or giving eco-snorkel briefings to groups of snorkellers.

Scuba Diving

Dive training: All volunteers must be at least PADI Advanced Open Water (or equivalent) in order to take part in the surveys.

The Base

Accommodation: The volunteer house is located in a local Malay village in Perhentian Kecil’s South Eastern corner. The area is 100% Islamic, so alcohol is prohibited. Volunteers should keep their knees and shoulders covered at all times. There are shops close by.

Sleeping: Rooms are based on 4 people sharing and are mixed gender.

Food: All meals and beverages are included except on Sundays when only breakfast is served. Lunch and dinner are cooked by volunteers on a rotational basis. While at the project site alcohol is prohibited, but local tourist resorts do serve alcoholic beverages.

Number of volunteers: 8 max.

Working week: 6 days on.

Support: 24-hour in-country volunteer support.

Transport: Pick up at Kuala Besut Jetty and transfer to the local fisherman’s village in Pulau Perhentian Kecil.


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