Travel as part of an award-winning, socially and environmentally responsible, volunteer programme offering some of the most rewarding and productive marine conservation and educational experiences available today. Volunteers from all over the world travel to our sites to conduct research and conservation work with scientists, international NGOs and community members whose livelihoods depend on healthy ecosystems for survival. The ecological data you gather are invaluable for establishing strategies for the management of the unique coastal habitats of Northern Belize. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy spectacular diving whilst taking part in a pioneering environmental conservation project based at one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
Joining our team out on our beautiful remote dive camp in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve (BCMR), which forms part of the Belize Barrier Reef System UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will:
- Learn how to survey and hunt invasive lionfish
- Work alongside international scientists
- Learn about the marine environment
- Dive daily and improve your dive skills
- Contribute to important local and regional research on lionfish
- Explore the diverse habitats of a UNESCO World Heritage listed site
The lionfish invasion was first documented in coastal waters near Florida in the 1980s, thought to be a result of deliberate and accidental releases from private and public aquaria. First officially recorded in Belizean waters as recently as 2008, their population has expanded rapidly throughout the country. With voracious appetites for juvenile fish and no natural predators to control them, they are now considered one of the biggest threats to the coral reef life in the Caribbean.
As volunteer, you will contribute to research aiming to monitor the progression of the invasion in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, as well as inform regional invasive lionfish research priorities. Furthermore, you will help reduce the pressure of this invasive fish by participating in regular lionfish culls whilst SCUBA diving. You will leave satisfied that you have not only been vital in collecting data which contributes to local and regional scientific research but have explored the reefs of the beautiful BCMR in the process.
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