As if travelling to the clear blue waters of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean, learning (or improving) your diving in one of the world’s most beautiful tropical countries and discovering an incredible underwater environment is not enough, this project is also providing long-term benefits to the local communities and the conservation of Fiji’s delicate coral reefs and marine ecosystems.
You would be working closely with the Fiji Department of Fisheries and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network – by collecting important marine inventory data on underwater research dives such as on targeted fish species; Coral Reef and Mangrove Habitat mapping as well as assisting with the development of an environmental education and awareness program for local schools and communities. You will also be contributing to the development of a Terrestrial and Marine Environmental Best Practice on Caqalai Island.
Living amongst a group of fellow international volunteers in shared huts, you will be based on the beach on the Island of Caqalai which is in the Lomaiviti group. You don’t need to have any previous experience of marine science or working underwater as you will get full training from the very best.
A lot of your time will be spent underwater, depending on weather conditions, but you need to be prepared to spend the rest of your time being involved with other projects such as training sessions, marine debris surveys and removal, environmental education sessions or alternative income training.
On your days off you can chill out on the white sand beaches, visit world class dive sites and experience some of the famous culture of hospitality and warmth. You can visit the dolphins that reside all year round on Moon Reef, hike into forests and swim in hidden waterfalls or visit one of Fiji’s famous island resorts.
If you fancy something a little more “city-like”, Fiji’s capital city, Suva, is only a few hours from all the project sites. The city is known for its relaxed atmosphere, energetic nightlife, large farmers market and atmospheric port. The old historical capital of Fiji, Levuka, is accessible by ferry and small boat and located on the nearby Ovalau Island.
What you need to know
You will spend the majority of your time on this expedition scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent. Non-divers can join for 8- and 12-week durations; you will get all the training you need to be certified up to PADI Advanced Open Water. Certified divers can start their 5-dive PADI Advanced Open Water training with a focus on buoyancy skills after an initial swim test and scuba review.
The 4-week duration is only open for divers already qualified to PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent.
To make the most out of your time in Fiji we recommend you do as much homework as you can before heading off. Try and learn to identify as many of the targeted fish species as possible to help you get a head start before you arrive. The more you can learn pre-expedition, the quicker you get to start surveying! Don’t worry though as you will get all the training you need upon arrival.
- Placement and pre-departure help
- Depending on your arrival time, airport pick-up or in-depth travel advice on how to get to where you need to be
- Full training and orientation upon arrival
- Shared accommodation, safe and to good standard
- Meals when on base
- Onsite support by experienced staff
- 24-hour emergency phone
- PADI Open Water (for 8 and 12 week volunteers) and Advanced Open Water
- PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
What’s Not Included?
- Travel and health insurance
- Visa costs
- Local transport and spending money
- Vaccinations if required