Projects Abroad staff preparing for a dive in Thailand on a Marine Conservation Project

Marine Conservation Volunteer Abroad

Dive into ocean conservation and protect marine life in developing countries

Become a marine conservation volunteer and explore the world beneath the waves. You’ll learn just how important marine life is, while experiencing the beauty of our oceans with like-minded volunteers.

Marine conservation volunteering with Projects Abroad helps you protect the underwater way of life and everything that goes with it. So whether you’re into sea turtle conservation, or determined to rid the ocean of plastic pollution, we’ll work together to make it happen. Our combined conservation efforts will do things like keep those underwater coral reefs blossoming all year-round! 

This is what you can expect to do through marine conservation volunteering:

  • Work with marine biologists, environmental scientists, and people from the local community
  • Receive PADI Diving Course training and participate in plenty of diving opportunities for volunteers
  • Collect data and do scientific research
  • Get hands-on marine conservation work experience

We have different marine volunteering abroad programs around the world, from Mexico to Thailand. They all focus on an important part of the ecosystem in the nearby surrounding area. Our programs are ethical, safe, and hassle-free, so all you need to do is focus on protecting marine life for future generations! 

We’re here to help you choose the project that lets you pursue your passion for animals and nature. Are your interests drawing you more to savannahs and rainforests? We also offer Wildlife Conservation Projects.

Gain Academic Credit

When you join a Marine Conservation project, you can also sign up for our Diploma in International Volunteering. This offers a Marine Conservation specialization that draws on your volunteer experience. Completing the diploma alongside volunteer work, you’ll gain academic credit to support your university application.

Choose a Marine Conservation Program

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1-3 of 10 Projects

Students release turtles for their conservation volunteering in Mexico.
Sea Turtle Conservation in Mexico
See this project
  • Price: $2,470 USD for 1 week
  • Extra Weeks: $370 USD
  • Start Date: June to September
  • Minimum Duration: 1 week
  • Ages: 16 or over
Southern Right whale
Whale and Puma Conservation in Patagonia, Argentina
See this project
  • Price: $3,470 USD for 1 week
  • Extra Weeks: $570 USD
  • Start Date: Anytime
  • Minimum Duration: 1 week
  • Ages: 16 or over
Sea turtles
Sea Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka
See this project
  • Price: $2,520 USD for 1 week
  • Extra Weeks: $420 USD
  • Start Date: Anytime
  • Minimum Duration: 1 week
  • Ages: 16 or over
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Can't find what you're looking for?

We’d be happy to talk about creating a custom project for you. Most of our staff have been volunteers themselves, so they’re well placed to answer your questions, big or small. 

(+1) 619 320 2424

or email:

to start planning your project

What are the best marine conservation volunteer programs?

Our project are the best marine conservation volunteer programs for you if you love swimming, diving, and protecting endangered marine animals. You’ll learn new skills and get your hands dirty (or should we say wet).

We’ll roll out your PADI Diving Training within your first week of being on any project with diving activities, so you waste no time getting down to business. You won’t need any previous experience, just the enthusiasm to torpedo your way under the waves and make a big difference to the little critters that live there.

Looking to complete a Marine Conservation internship abroad? Read our blog on Marine Conservation internships that'll give you practical experience above and under the waves. It'll give you the opportunity you need to kickstart your underwater journey.

As a marine conservation volunteer, you’ll collect data, do research, and help with the protection of aquatic animals and plants. You’ll be making a positive impact for endangered marine animals. Depending on where you choose to go, you’ll volunteer with sea turtles, sharks, or coral reefs, and more.

As a scientist-in-training I was most impressed with all of the science underlying the project and how willing the staff was to share their knowledge. I was able to see science in action as well as conservation efforts making their way up the chain to actually change environmental policy. - Christina C, Shark Conservation in Fiji

Projects Abroad volunteers replanting mangroves on their Fiji Marine Conservation Project

What skills will I gain from marine volunteering abroad?

Besides having a positive impact for the environment and local community, you’ll also develop some of your own skills.

These are some of the skills you can learn through marine volunteering abroad:

  • Global competencies like teamwork, communication, leadership, resilience, organizing, planning, and time management
  • Work experience and knowledge of practical Marine Conservation and environmental sciences
  • PADI Open Water and Scuba Diving certificates
  • Become a Divemaster on our Marine Conservation Projects in Fiji and Thailand 
  • The ability to work and empathize with people of different cultures and backgrounds, helping to develop a ‘global mindset’
  • Confidence from pushing past your comfort zone

All of the above will enhance your  personal development and your resume.

I chose to do my university dissertation in Mexico with Projects Abroad. I was looking at the effect that artificial hatcheries had on baby hatchlings compared to that of nests left in natural conditions. All the staff at the camp were extremely helpful with my data collection and even allowed me to use specialist equipment to measure nest temperature. I couldn’t have asked for anything better and now have substantial data to base my 10,000 word project on. - Jennifer S, Sea Turtle Conservation in Mexico

Why is marine conservation important?

With so much plastic in the world's oceans, we need to make a real effort to protect marine life. Ocean pollution, along with overfishing, threatens already endangered marine animals. Interested in learning more about plastic volunteer programs? Read more about the projects where we actively work to remove plastic from the environment

It’s easy to sit back and think someone else will take care of the environmental problems, but we have to make small changes happen with our own hands.

How are our Marine Conservation Projects different?

At Projects Abroad, our first aim is to protect marine life and benefit the local communities through our Marine Conservation Projects. We make sure our projects are ethical and support growth in the local environment. Lonely Planet recently highlighted us as the best for sustainable travel in Fiji.

Here are some of the elements that set us apart from other volunteering programs:

Be fully supported by staff

On these projects you’ll work alongside professionals, members of the local community, and Projects Abroad staff. You’ll team up with a wider network of volunteers, all working together for shark, coral reefs, and sea turtle conservation.

At each project, a full-time staff  member will be with you to support you and the other volunteers. They’ll work with you to make sure you spend your time in a way that genuinely makes an impact and brings value to the project you visit.

Recording our work in a secure database

We created a Global Impact Database so we can track the positive impact our projects have. This is a secure and anonymous database that we use to identify specific areas of need. We can also monitor individual projects to track their development.

With these stats, we can see things like how many sea turtles hatchlings our volunteers release into the wild each year. 

Projects that have an impact

All our projects are well researched, targeted, and sustainable. We aim to make a difference to the local community for the long term.

A Projects Abroad volunteer playing with perspective using a lionfish on her Marine Conservation Project in Belize

Our Animal Protection Policy

We take protecting the animals and wildlife we work with very seriously. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive Animal Protection Policy.

Next Steps

Our accreditations