Volunteer to carry out whale shark research and take part in community-focused conservation initiatives in the Maldives.

The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme

Become an Assistant Research Volunteer with MWSRP


Who: Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP)

Where: Dhigurah in the South Ari atoll, the Maldives

Focus:  To conduct whale shark research and help with community-focussed conservation initiatives throughout the Maldives.

When: February to December (set start dates)

Duration: 2 or 4 weeks

Suitability: Over 18s

Requirements: Volunteers should be confident swimmers.

Cost: Available here.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Become a valuable asset to MWSRP’s work and work as a research assistant helping to conserve whale sharks and their marine habitat.
  • Document every whale shark encountered in the South Ari Marine Protected Area (MPA), including their movements, size, sex, threats and the influence of environmental factors
  • Gain hands-on experience of whale shark research and data collection,
  • Snorkel to take identification photographs and collect baseline data on whale sharks and the marine environment.
  • Use specialised whale shark data forms and laser-photogrammetry to measure the length of the whale sharks)
  • Increase your knowledge on marine conservation
  • Take part in community awareness events.
  • Get totally immersed into Maldivian life and learn about local culture.


All data is gathered through swimming, snorkelling and duck diving. Volunteers work alongside a knowledgeable and dedicated team and will spend a large amount of time in the water.

The Base

Accommodation:  Volunteers stay at a guest house on the local island of Dhigurah., in an area slightly set back from the main village. an island whose outer coral reef borders one of the only places in the world where whale sharks can be seen all year round! offers a wonderful chance to see the real Maldives!

Sleeping: A maximum of 3 people share a room, separated wherever possible by male and female rooms.

Food: 3 meals a day.

Working week: 5 days in the water, 1 day for data analysis and 1 day to rest.

Base size: Max. 8 volunteers

The next step

Visit MWSRP for more information and to apply. Please say that you heard about this project from Sea Fans.


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