Volunteer to research whale sharks, manta rays and turtles in the Philippines.

Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute

Donsol Whale Shark Project

: The Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE)

Where: Donsol Bay, Sorsogon Province, Philippines

Focus: Data collection of whale sharks, manta rays and turtles. LAMAVE runs 6 projects across the Philippines:

  • Donsol whale shark project
  • Southern Leyte whale shark project
  • Cebu whale shark project
  • Manta bowl project
  • Palawan whale shark project
  • Panglao sea turtle project

When: Varies depending on project.

Duration: Min. 3 month stay

Suitability: Over 18s. Volunteers should be confident swimmers and able to freedive to 7 metres. Scholarships available for Filipino nationals.

Cost: Available here.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Support whale shark research and help increase knowledge of their activity around Donsol Bay to support long-term scientific goals and policy making.
  • Learn about whale shark biology, ecology and research techniques.
  • Join tourist boats to search for and photograph whale sharks.
  • Deploy GPS trackers on all the tourist vessels to see where the encounters are occurring across the season.
  • Use photographic identification techniques to identify individuals in the population.
  • Enter collected data into the database.
  • Help to gain understanding of whale shark movement patterns in the Philippines and beyond.

The Base

Accommodation: Live in a shared home in a remote setting with extremely basic amenities.

Food: Three meals a day.

Working week: 1 day off a week.

The next step

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